Opportunity knocks - Metro US

Opportunity knocks

Now that the bosses of Canada’s big banks have had their pay haircuts for 2008, how are they doing so far in 2009?

Investors will find out this week and next, as the Big Five report on the first quarter of their banking year.

Expectations are muted, given the state of the economy and the results will suffer by comparison with year-ago profits.

But at the same time investors are wondering whether Canada’s banks — solidly capitalized and in rude health compared with their competitors in the U.S. and Europe — will fling aside caution and snap up assets at rock-bottom prices.

“This is probably the one opportunity in history for Canadian banks to stand out from their global peers,” Bank of Nova Scotia analyst Kevin Choquette said. Bank CEOs took multimillion-dollar cuts amid dismal news for shareholders.

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