Canada's banking system said solid, but not immune

Mon Mar 17, 2008 5:43pm EDT
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Finance Department said on Monday the domestic banking system is solid and banks and other institutions are well-capitalized, but the country is not immune to market uncertainty.

"As an open trading economy, Canada is not immune to the growing uncertainty in the United States and on global markets," said Finance spokesman David Gamble.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index fell sharply on Monday, reflecting weaker commodity prices but also further worries over how deeply a stumbling U.S. economy will affect the rest of the world.

Although the ministry said the Canadian economy may suffer some effects of a deeper slowdown south of the border, it also remarked that Canada's economic fundamentals are solid.

"It has the strongest fiscal position of any Group of Seven (G7) country," the spokesman said.

(Reporting by Louise Egan; Writing by Renato Andrade)