Section 2: Economic events

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The federal government announced new home mortgage rules which include lowering the maximum amortization period on a home mortgage to 30 from 35 years, lowering the maximum amount that can be borrowed to 85% of the property's value and no longer providing insurance on personal credit lines secured by homes.

US miner Cliffs Natural Resources announced the purchase of Montreal-based Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines for $4.9 billion. Cliffs also recently acquired Spider Resources, Freewest Resources and Wabush Mine.

Canadian Natural Resources declared force majeure on January shipments of synthetic crude from its Horizon oilsands upgrader after a fire. At 100,000 barrels per day, the Horizon plant produces about 10% of Canada's synthetic crude.

US retailer Target entered a $1.8 billion deal to acquire 200 Zeller stores in Canada. Wal-Mart revealed it is spending $0.5 billion in Canada to open 40 supercenter stores in the next fiscal year.


Bank of America announced it paid over $2.5 billion (US) to buy back troubled mortgages and resolve related claims from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Ford announced that it would add 7,000 jobs in the US over the next two years.

Australian mining companies declared they would not be able to meet contracts for coal (Australia's largest export) due to massive flooding in Queensland state. The heavy rains also destroyed bumper crops and flooded the third-largest city of Brisbane.

Spain raised its retirement age by two years to 67 for most workers.

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