Canada December budget surplus rises on GM share transfer
By Leah Schnurr
OTTAWA Feb 27 (Reuters) - The Canadian government posted a budgetary surplus of C$2.43 billion ($1.94 billion) in December, nearly double the result of a year earlier, mostly because of a transfer of General Motors (GM.N: Quote) shares to the province of Ontario, the finance department said on Friday.
The transfer of GM shares to Ontario raised the surplus by C$900 million. The government of Canada had acquired the shares in a restructured General Motors as the result of agreements by Canada and Ontario to provide financial assistance in 2008 and 2009.
At the request of the province, the federal government agreed in December to transfer Ontario's share of the stock to the province, and this resulted in gains offsetting previous recorded expenses.
The December surplus was greater than the C$1.20 billion seen in December 2013. For April to December, the deficit decreased to C$902 million compared to a deficit of C$12.18 billion in the same timeframe the year before.
The government said it remains on track to balance the budget in the 2015-16 fiscal year.
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Randall Palmer)
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