Bank of Nova Scotia and Microsoft Canada Co. are building a cobranded financial services Internet portal for consumers and small businesses as part of a wide-ranging set of agreements intended to give a boost to electronic commerce in Canada.

Scotiabank and Microsoft also said this week that they would offer small businesses Web site design and hosting, merchant payment products, and electronic marketing services through Microsoft Canada's MSN LinkExchange. The service has helped 1,000 small businesses get on-line.

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