Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Nova Scotia and six other large Canadian lenders are trading at the lowest premium to U.S. bank stocks in more than two years, as their American counterparts regain the confidence of investors.
Bharat Masrani, who helped oversee Toronto-Dominion Bank’s $25 billion U.S. expansion, is likely to add to that business when he takes over next year as chief executive officer of Canada’s second-biggest bank.
Canada’s banks, recognized as the world’s strongest after a year of record profits and rising share prices, will begin to show the effects of a slackening in domestic consumer lending when they report first-quarter results next week.
Royal Bank of Canada, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Toronto-Dominion Bank reported first-quarter profits that topped analysts’ estimates on record earnings from personal and commercial lending.
National Bank of Canada generated the best risk-adjusted returns among Canadian banks through the global financial crisis by focusing on its home market. Some analysts say that strategy is now working against the bank.
Great-West Lifeco Inc.’s C$1.75 billion ($1.72 billion) agreement to buy Irish Life Group Ltd. signals a return to growth for the Canadian insurance industry that has spent years since the financial crisis seeking to contain damage from plunging stock prices.