KPMG Weekly Newsletter – For the Week Ending April 8, 2007

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The following information was obtained from newspaper articles appearing
in the Globe and Mail and the National Post for the week ending
April 8, 2007

Sunrise Senior Living REIT paid $55.3-million for an 80% stake in three retirement homes from U.S.-based Sunrise Senior Living Inc., which will retain the remaining 20% interest. Sunrise Senior Living REIT also reported a loss of $39.3-million in 2006, compared with a loss of $27.6-million in 2005. Revenue rose to $311.4-million from $171.3-million. Net operating income increased to $119.6-million from $65-million. Distributable income per unit was 18 cents in the fourth quarter, compared with 24 cents in the same quarter a year earlier.
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Australia’s Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd. and Macquarie Bank Ltd. have teamed up to acquire Canada’s Gateway Casinos Income Fund for $800-million. New World Gaming Partners Ltd. will pay $25.26 in cash per unit for Gateway and also buy related private development and operating businesses, with a combined enterprise value of $1.37-billion. The transaction still requires approval from regulators and the holders of two-thirds of its units.
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The US$3.37-billion sale of Four Seasons Hotels Inc. was approved by shareholders, after receiving support from 51.85% of minority shareholders and 69% of all shareholders.
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Bazis International is undertaking a $500-million, 80-storey project at 1 Bloor St. E in Toronto, which is scheduled for completion in 2011. The plans call for a 120-room hotel, 500 condominiums as well as retail space. Bazis purchased the land from Kolter Property a few months ago and expects to start demolishing the buildings on the half-hectare site by the end of 2007.
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Toronto-based ClubLink Corp. has purchased Club de Golf Islesmere in Laval, Quebec, for an undisclosed price.
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Halifax-based Homburg Invest Inc.’s $539-million takeover offer was accepted by investors controlling about 70% of Alexis Nihon REIT’s units. Homburg now controls about 87% of Alexis Nihon, including units it already owned.
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According to Statistics Canada, the value of building permits fell 22.4% to a seasonally adjusted $4.86-billion in February from January. The value of permits dropped in all provinces except Manitoba. Both residential and non-residential permits were down.
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According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, housing sales dropped 0.9% to 42,997 units in February from the record set in January. On a seasonally adjusted basis, sales fell 2.9% from January. Through the first two months of 2006, sales are up 6.6% from a year ago. The average sale price rose 10.6% in February to $294,880 from a year earlier. In British Columbia, the average sale price was $412,847, up more than $10,000 from January and more than $43,000 from February, 2006. The average price of a home in the Prairies soared 31.1% to $305,450. In Alberta, the average price jumped 34.1% to $343,515.
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According to the Royal Bank of Canada, 33% of Canadian homeowners who are planning to buy a home in the next two years are looking for smaller homes, compared with 20% in 2006 and 19% in 2002. Of Canadians planning to buy a house within two years, 58% plan to buy a home in 2007.
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The Singapore-based UOL Group Ltd. has acquired Pan Pacific Hotels and Resorts from Tokyu Corp. of Japan. The new owners plan to expand in North America and are targeting new properties in Toronto, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.
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Ameristar Casinos Inc. plans to purchase the Resorts East Chicago casino complex from an affiliate of Colony Capital LLC for US$675-million.
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Barclays Bank PLC has purchased subprime lender EquiFirst Corp. for US$76-million.
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New Century Financial Corp. has filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of U.S. bankruptcy law. New Century will sell its loan servicing business to Carrington Capital Management LLC for US$139-million, subject to bankruptcy-court approval. New Century also lined up US$150-million of financing from CIT Group Inc. and Greenwich Capital Financial Products to continue operating while in bankruptcy, and agreed to sell Greenwich Capital some loans and other assets for US$50-million, subject to bankruptcy-court approval.
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According to the National Association of Realtors, the index of pending U.S. home resales increased 0.7% in February to 190.3 following a revised 4.2% drop in January. The index fell 8.5% from February, 2006.
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According to Bear Stearns Cos., the value of U.S. subprime loans granted in 2007 is expected to fall 30% from last year’s total of about US$600-billion. According to Inside Mortgage Finance, Alt-A loans packaged into securities for sale to investors totalled about US$366-billion in 2006.
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British Land Co. PLC will oversee the £1-billion ($2.27-billion) redevelopment of the 15-acre Euston railway station site in central London after winning a tender to become Network Rail Ltd.’s preferred development partner. British Land’s proposals for the site include building about 2,500 homes, as well as adding 150,000 square feet of office space and 250,000 square feet of retail space.
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According to Macau city officials, Macau’s 22 casinos generated 56.2 billion patacas (US$7.2-billion) in total gross gaming revenues in 2006, with revenue of 16.7 billion patacas (US$2.1-billion) in the fourth quarter. By comparison, more than 40 casinos on Las Vegas’s main strip generated US$6.6-billion in revenue last year.
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Tameer Holding is building the 107-storey Princess Tower in Dubai. According to CB Richard Ellis Group Inc., the rental cost of prime office space in Dubai has jumped to more than 400 dirhams (US$109) a square foot, compared with 165 dirhams in May, 2005, due to a lack of office space. According to Colliers International, the annualized cost of new office space over a three-year lease could be 363 dirhams per square foot, compared with 160 dirhams per square foot three years ago.

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