Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins announces its results



    A key contribution to economic development in difficult times

    MONTREAL, Feb. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Capital régional et coopératif
Desjardins today released the Company's financial results. In spite of
difficult economic times, Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins (the
Company) closed its 2008 fiscal year with a negative return of 3.6% compared
with a negative return of 3.2% for the preceding year. The results, which
bring the share value to $9.54 as of noon today, secure for shareholders who
bought shares seven years ago an after-tax return of over 9.2%.
    Comparing very favourably to capital market indexes, this performance was
no accident. To limit the effects of market volatility on share value while
still fulfilling its mission of economic development, the Company prefers a
global approach to managing its financial assets. The result is an overall
balanced portfolio for both investments in our partner companies as well as in
liquid investments, now reported as Other investments in the Company's
financial statements. Also, note that the Other investments portfolio is
essentially invested in bond securities, which has the effect of offsetting
investment portfolio risk. This prudent management approach has also been the
standard in making investment decisions as the portfolio includes only a very
few public companies.
    Chairman of the Board André Lachapelle expressed satisfaction over the
results, and particularly in light of an economic slowdown. "More than ever,
Capital régional is playing a key role in the economic development of Québec,
and its concrete contribution has significant ripple effects over entire
regions."
    In spite of the particularly difficult conditions in the second half of
the year, the Company maintained its investment activities, with new
commitments totalling $65 million for fiscal 2008 compared with $88 million
for the same period in 2007. Once again this year, the Company has met the
statutory target of 60% for its aggregate eligible investments as well as the
35% for investments in cooperatives and in the resource regions. As at
December 31, 2008, total commitments reached $477 million in 213 businesses
and funds contributing to the retention of over 30,000 jobs.
    Mr. Louis L. Roquet, President and COO of Desjardins Venture Capital, the
Company's manager, was quick to reassure entrepreneurs that partnership would
continue through even the hardest times. "We're continuing to support our
partner companies, and we have capital to invest in new, promising companies.
When we invest in a Québec company or cooperative, we make a commitment to
back it for at least five years. We're convinced that this way of doing
business creates stronger companies that then have the ability to survive
through the different cycles of the economy," he explained.
    Confidence in Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins remained high as
the 2008 issue, which ends on February 28, 2009, raised $126.4 million. This
resulted in increasing the Company's net assets to $812.6 million as at the
end of the fiscal year, up $80.1 million over 2007. In November 2008, some
shareholders completed their minimum statutory holding period of seven years.
Consequently, only 20% of the $79 million in shares issued in 2001 have been
redeemed. The number of shareholders as at December 31, 2008 was 122,128.
Shares from the 2008 issue are still available throughout the Desjardins
caisse network and, by investing, shareholders enjoy a provincial income tax
credit of 50%.

    Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins

    Founded in 2001, Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins is a publicly
traded company managed by Desjardins Venture Capital. With over 122,000
shareholders, the Company contributes to Québec's economic development while
driving the growth of cooperatives and the resource regions. Capital régional
et coopératif Desjardins currently supports more than 200 companies and
cooperatives in various industries spanning all Québec regions.
(capitalregional.com)




For further information:

For further information: Danièle Routhier, Manager, Public Affairs,
Desjardins Venture Capital, (514) 281-2211,
daniele.routhier@dcrdesjardins.com


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