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Telus reports $551M Q3 profit, up from $358M a year ago, raises quarterly dividend

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VANCOUVER — Telus Corp. raised its dividend as it reported a profit of $551 million in its latest quarter, up from $358 million in the same quarter last year.

The telecommunications company says it will now pay a quarterly dividend of 35.11 cents per share, up from 32.74 cents per share.

Telus says its profit amounted to 37 cents per share for the quarter ended Sept. 30, up from 25 cents per share a year ago.

Operating revenue and other income rose to $4.67 billion compared with $4.25 billion in the same quarter last year.

On an adjusted basis, Telus says it earned 34 cents per share in its latest quarter, up from 29 cents per share last year.

Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of 32 cents per share, according to estimates compiled by financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

“Our robust performance reflects the chemistry of our globally leading broadband networks and customer-centric culture, which enabled our strongest quarter on record, with total customer net additions of 347,000, up more than 8 per cent, year-over-year,” Darren Entwistle, Telus president and CEO, said in a statement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 4, 2022.

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Britcoin? UK gets closer to launching a digital currency

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By Danica Kirka in London

LONDON (AP) — Britcoin is moving closer to reality.

U.K. authorities on Monday said British businesses and consumers are likely to need a digital version of the pound, formally asking for public comment on the idea of introducing a central bank digital currency.

Britain, home to the world’s second-biggest financial center, is trailing former colonies such as Nigeria, the Bahamas and Jamaica in rolling out a digital currency. More than 80% of the world’s central banks are considering launching digital currencies or have already done so, according to the consultant PwC.

“While cash is here to stay, a digital pound issued and backed by the Bank of England could be a new way to pay that’s trusted, accessible and easy to use,” Treasury chief Jeremy Hunt said in a statement. “That’s why we want to investigate what is possible first, whilst always making sure we protect financial stability.”

The call for public input comes almost two years after the Treasury and Bank of England said they were considering introducing a digital currency.

While Prime Minister Rishi Sunak suggested naming the initiative “Britcoin” when he was Treasury chief, the Bank of England has stressed that the potential currency shouldn’t be confused with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Backed by the central bank, the new currency would be “reliable and retain its value over time,” in contrast to cryptocurrencies that can fluctuate wildly and threaten the holdings of investors, the Bank of England says on its website.

That industry has been particularly unstable in recent months, escalating calls for greater regulation. Crypto crashes last yeartanked assets, while crypto exchange FTX’s multibillion-dollar collapse and bankruptcy in November triggered fraud chargesagainst founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

The proposed digital currency would be denominated in pounds, with 10 pounds of digital currency always equal to a 10-pound note, the bank said. Held in a digital wallet, the currency could be used to pay for goods and services electronically.

Supporters of central bank digital currencies say they make digital transactions easier and cheaper and expand access to the financial system because they can be used by people who don’t have bank accounts.

This is one of the reasons the Bahamas became the first country to introduce a digital currency in 2020. Nigeria and Jamaica have since followed suit, with China and more than 20 other countries running trial projects. The U.S. and European Union are considering introducing digital currencies.

But digital currencies also present risks, including cyberattacks, privacy concerns and the danger that they can be used by criminals.

Because money invested in central bank digital currencies is safer than a bank deposit, they also may draw savings away from commercial banks and weaken the financial system, critics argue.

A digital pound would have “risks but no obvious benefits,” former Bank of England Gov. Mervyn King, now a member of the House of Lords, said recently.

While such digital currencies may be useful in countries that don’t have effective banking systems, that’s not the case in the Britain, he said.

“The government has said that it wants the U.K. to be at the forefront of innovation, crypto-assets and fintech, but we need to be selective and not driven by a misplaced enthusiasm for all things crypto,” King said.

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Google notifying Canadian employees impacted by global layoff of 12,000 workers

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Toronto – Google says Canadian employees affected by recently announced job cuts are being told today whether they have been laid off.

Google Canada spokesperson Lauren Skelly says notifications are being sent to staff impacted by the cuts announced last month.

Skelly wouldn’t say how many Canadians are being laid off and in what departments or cities they work, but said Canada remains an important and priority market for Google.

Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Google and parent company Alphabet, told staff in mid-January that his company would be laying off 12,000 workers.

Pichai said the business had hired for a different economic reality than the one that materialized, thus necessitating job cuts.

Days after Pichai’s announcement, Google also said it would close the Edmonton office owned by its artificial intelligence subsidiary DeepMind.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 6, 2023.

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