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(Reuters) Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) has completed the $5 billion acquisition of Chicago-based PrivateBancorp PVTB.O, which will help it diversify from its domestic market, it said on Friday.

CIBC, Canada's fifth-biggest lender, has the biggest exposure to the country's housing markets. Concerns are mounting about falling home prices in Toronto and Vancouver, and the bank has long coveted a major U.S. acquisition.

CIBC Chief Executive Officer Victor Dodig said he had talked about a deal with PrivateBank CEO Larry Richman for almost three years.

"PrivateBank has always been part of our medium- to long-term strategy," Dodig said in an interview.

The combined U.S. business will be renamed CIBC beginning in the fourth quarter, and Richman will run it as group head for the U.S. region.

Dodig said the bank would focus on integrating the two businesses for the next two years but left an option open to make acquisitions in wealth management.

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(CNN): Qatar Airways has long been at odds with American Airlines. Now it wants to buy a big chunk of the U.S. carrier.

"Qatar Airways indicated that it has an interest in acquiring approximately a ten percent stake," American Airlines said in a statement on Thursday, adding that Qatar wanted to buy at least $808 million of the company's stock.

American (AAL), along with Delta (DAL) and United Airlines (UAL), has repeatedly accused Qatar Airways and its big regional rivals -- Emirates and Etihad of the United Arab Emirates -- of enjoying massive government subsidies that have helped them become leading global players.

The U.S. carriers want President Trump's administration to review the Open Skies agreements that allow the Gulf carriers to fly freely from the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to any U.S. destination. They claim the airlines rapid expansion in the U.S. is hurting American jobs. The Gulf airlines deny those claims.

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LONDON (AP) -- Oil prices fell further to a new 7 month low on Wednesday, with the international benchmark for crude sliding below $46 a barrel.

That is just below the price seen in November, when OPEC and 10 other oil-producing countries agreed to cut their production to combat a growing supply glut and push the market up.

While Russia, Saudi Arabia and other nations involved in the deal have met their targeted cuts, an unforeseen increase in U.S. supply has countered these efforts. With the glut persisting, the outlook for oil prices has been dampened.

"As we see it, it is not the events that are putting pressure on prices, but above all the shift in sentiment, the previous optimism appearing to have virtually evaporated," analysts at Commerzbank wrote in a note to clients. They predict persistent negative sentiment could push the international benchmark, Brent, below $45 per barrel.

On Wednesday, it was down 8 cents at $45.94 a barrel in London trading.

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(Barbados Today) Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler is now totally out of his depth in terms of his leadership of the economy.

This was the strong suggestion made today by one his predecessors – former Prime Minister Owen Arthur  – who accused Sinckler of “bungling” his own recent Budget announcements and of creating a mass of economic confusion and uncertainty in the country.

Arthur was responding to reports that Sinckler, on the heels of his May 30 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals, was now promising to undertake a review of the $542 million austerity package he announced in Parliament a mere three weeks ago.

This is with a view to offering relief, where possible, to members of the private sector who are bitterly opposed to his plan to massive increase in the National Social Responsibility Levy from two per cent to ten per cent, as well as to impose a two per cent levy on foreign exchange transactions.

While warning that the tax on foreign exchange rate transactions may eventually be deemed a non-starter, Arthur complained that with the July 1 implementation date for the new levies fast approaching, there was still way too much uncertainty surrounding the announced fiscal measures.

“We are in danger of having our economic policies characterized by an absence of clarity of purpose and certainty of incidence,” he warned, while pointing out that it was not only the measures, but also the process by which they were to be implemented that was now the subject of great confusion.

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(Reuters) Ford Motor Co. will export the next-generation Focus compact car from China to North America in 2019, rather than from Mexico as earlier planned, saving the company $500 million, a top executive said on Tuesday.

It is the first major manufacturing investment decision made by new Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett, who succeeded Mark Fields in late May. Discussion about the small-car production shift from Mexico to China began "a couple months ago" under Fields, said Joe Hinrichs, president of global operations.

The decision also signals a shift in strategy at Ford, which is responding to low fuel prices and to U.S. consumer demand by de-emphasizing small cars while boosting U.S. production of trucks and SUVs.

Ford on Tuesday said it would invest $900 million at its Kentucky truck plant to build the redesigned Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator full-size SUVs this fall. It plans to export the Navigator to China and has contingency plans to build more of the big SUVs at an Ohio plant if demand grows.

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