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Water for salmon

(AP) -- Interior Secretary Sally Jewell agreed to an impromptu meeting with salmon advocates demanding more water for salmon in Northern California's Klamath and Trinity rivers.

After the Tuesday meeting in Redding, salmon advocate Regina Chichizola said Jewell agreed to send someone to assess the situation, but made no promises.

Members of the Hoopa Valley Tribe and others have been pressing the Obama administration to release more water from Lewiston Dam on the Trinity. The idea is that more water makes it harder for parasites to infect fall chinook returning to spawn. Disease killed tens of thousands of fish in 2002.

Faced with demands for more water than it has, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has said it would make emergency water releases once significant numbers of fish begin to die.

Golf courses sold

(Bloomberg) -- ClubCorp Holdings Inc. (NYSE: MYCC), the largest owner of private golf and country clubs in the United States, bought Sequoia Golf for $265 million to add 50 properties and expand its geographic footprint.

The purchase will make Dallas-based ClubCorp, which already owned or operated 159 courses, almost five times the size of its next largest competitor in the United States.

Its properties in San Diego County are the Shadowridge Golf Club in Vista and the Morgan Run Club & Resort in Rancho Santa Fe, according to the company's web site. The company also operates the University Club atop the Symphony Towers office building in downtown San Diego.

Closely held, Newnan, Ga.-based Sequioa's portfolio includes four Atlanta-based clubs, 25 private Canongate brand clubs and the 63-hole Woodlands Country Club in Texas, the companies said Wednesday.

Shares in ClubCorp have climbed 28 percent since an initial public offering in September raised $252 million for the company founded in 1957 with one country club in Dallas.

ClubCorp properties also include Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, which hosted the World Golf Championships won by Rory McIlroy two weeks ago, and Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage.

Healthy REIT

(AP) -- Health Care REIT (NYSE: HCN) said Wednesday it will spend as much as $2.3 billion on a deal that could give it more than 100 additional properties in the U.S. and Canada in the next few years.

The company said it will pay about $950 million to buy HealthLease Properties.

HealthLease owns 53 senior housing, acute care and long-term acute care communities, most of which are in North Carolina, Indiana, and Alberta, Canada. More than half of its communities have been built since 2010.

Toledo, Ohio-based REIT also announced a partnership with Mainstreet Property Group, which manages HealthLease.

As part of that deal, Health Care REIT will buy 17 Mainstreet communities that are being built in the Kansas City, Mo.; Denver, and Indianapolis areas.

Health Care said it will acquire those communities as construction is completed and will pay about $369 million in total.

The agreement also includes a financial deal for 45 additional Mainstreet projects that will give Health Care REIT an option to buy those communities. The total price for that deal could reach $1 billion.

Health Care REIT Inc. has 1,224 properties in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.

Mexico's construction

(Bloomberg) -- Mexico's construction industry expanded in June for the first time in 19 months, adding to signs that the economy is rebounding after missing analyst estimates in seven of the last eight quarters.

Construction increased 2.2 percent from the year earlier, helping industrial production to expand 2 percent, according to data released Wednesday by the national statistics agency.

“Industrial activity continued strengthening in June, very much in line with what the market expected,” Mario Correa, the chief Mexico economist at Bank of Nova Scotia, said. “The construction industry finally showed a positive growth rate.”

Construction rose as government infrastructure spending increased and the housing market picked up.

Cemex SAB, the largest cement maker in the Americas, said last month that growth in the residential real estate market would probably accelerate in the second half.

The construction industry contracted 2.5 percent in December following housing policy changes that led to the collapse of the three largest homebuilders and delays in infrastructure projects under President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Canadian starts

(Bloomberg) -- Canada's housing starts beat economist predictions for a fourth straight month in July, led by the most single-family home projects in almost two years.

The pace of work on new homes rose 0.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 200,098 units, the fastest since October, from a revised 198,665 in June, Ottawa-based Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp. reported this week.

The central bank has predicted that rising prices and near-record debt loads would curb demand for housing. Instead, home resales, prices and starts have climbed after a tough winter, as mortgage rates remain near record lows.

“CMHC continues to expect a soft landing for the new home construction market in Canada,” the agency's chief economist Bob Dugan wrote in the report.

Single-family starts in urban areas rose 4.7 percent to 67,062 in July, the report showed. Multiple-unit housing declined 2 percent to 115,870 units.

The pace of starts over the past four months has averaged 197,776 units, compared with the average consensus forecast of 185,750 units.

Merger rejected, again

(Bloomberg) -- Balfour Beatty Plc rejected a renewed merger proposal by Carillion Plc to form the U.K.'s biggest builder with a market valuation of about 3 billion pounds ($5 billion) because of a dispute over whether to dispose of the Parsons Brinckerhoff division.

The sale of Parsons, a New York-based Balfour Beatty unit specializing in engineering, is “a key strategic objective” because there's “no strategic logic” to retaining the business, the company said Monday.

A merger could also have led to increased reorganization costs and working capital outflows, it said.

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