Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins - Driving Québec's Economic Development



    The Company Surpasses Its Investment Targets Once Again

    MONTREAL, March 30 /CNW Telbec/ - The 6th Annual General Meeting of
Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins was held today at Montréal's
Convention Center. André Lachapelle, Chairman of the Board, expressed great
pride that, since its inception in 2001, the Company has consistently
surpassed the investment targets set out in its incorporating act well ahead
of the prescribed date of December 31, 2006.
    On a related item, Bruno Morin, General Manager of the Company, explained
that Capital régional experienced a year marked by investment growth. He noted
however that fluctuating interest rates had negatively impacted the first half
and that the youth of the investment portfolio was a key factor in the second
half. The result was a reduction in per share value of $0.16. The Company
holds commitments of $417.5 million in 209 businesses and cooperatives.
    With respect to raising capital, Mr. Morin acknowledged that the
announced reduction in income tax credits as well as a late start of sales
combined to lower the securities' popularity. "The 2006 issue allowed us to
sell 50% more than in the two previous years, or $150M, but since the
provincial income tax credit was reduced to 35% in the Québec budget adopted
in March 2006, we were only able to launch sales in May, at a time that is
less favourable for financial planning. The Company was therefore faced with a
considerable challenge," he pointed out.
    As at December 31, 2006, nearly $80 million of the authorized
$150 million was raised. Adding to that the balance of the 2007 issue, the
capital available across the caisse network for 2007 totals $220 million.
    Louis L. Roquet, President and COO of Desjardins Venture Capital, the
Company's manager, stated he was delighted that Capital régional has become a
force to be reckoned with. "At a time when Québec faces sizeable
socio-economic issues, Capital régional is successfully fulfilling its mission
to encourage entrepreneurship. The Company also makes it possible for all of
its shareholders to actively participate in driving our economy - and I'm very
proud of that!" he declared in his speech.
    Concrete examples of investments were cited showing the different ways
economic development is being supported across Québec. Be it by supporting the
longevity of regional businesses through transfers or consolidation in certain
business sectors, all of the Company's efforts have helped maintain businesses
in their regions, save jobs and strengthen enterprises so they can become more
competitive on international markets.
    Among the 17 ownership transfers that took place, CDM Décor stands out as
a successful management buyout, avoiding a shutdown. Another investment in
Knowlton Development Corporation served to consolidate activity in a sector as
well as to keep a head office in Québec.
    In short, within 5 years, Capital régional has met all of its regulatory
requirements and looks confidently to the future thanks to a solid foundation
supporting continued growth for shareholders.

    About Desjardins Capital régional et coopératif

    Desjardins Capital régional et coopératif is a publicly-traded company
founded in 2001 on the initiative of the Desjardins Group. Managed by
Desjardins Venture Capital, the Company's primary mission is to raise venture
capital with a view to fostering the economic development of Québec's
cooperatives and resource regions. With an authorized capitalization of
$1.325 billion, the Company assists companies and cooperatives throughout
Québec. (www.capitalregional.com)




For further information:

For further information: Sylvie Audet, Vice-President, Strategic
Planning and Communications, Desjardins Venture Capital, (514) 281-7799,
sylvie.audet@dcrdesjardins.com; Danièle Routhier, Manager, Public Affairs,
Desjardins Venture Capital, (514) 281-2211,
daniele.routhier@dcrdesjardins.com


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