Human, Patient and Profitable Capital - Another Good Year for the Solidarity Fund QFL - Annual Meeting of Shareholders of the Solidarity Fund QFL



    MONTREAL, Sept. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - The Solidarity Fund QFL (the "Fund")
held its 24th Annual Meeting of Shareholders today under the theme "Human and
patient capital." QFL President and Fund Chairman Henri Massé and Fund
President and Chief Executive Officer Yvon Bolduc presented a most positive
report for the fiscal year ended May 31, 2007.

    New record for the Fund's share

    The Fund achieved net earnings of $475 million in fiscal 2007,
translating into a return of 7.1%, its best in the last seven years. Net
assets reached $7.2 billion, and at $25.36, share value set a new record on
July 5, increasing by $1.62 from last year. The operating expense ratio
remained a respectable 1.4% of net assets, making the Fund one of the best
performers in this regard.

    122, 000 jobs maintained and protected

    "We had an excellent year on several fronts. With $668 million invested
in 145 companies, including investments made by our regional funds, we
actively helped invigorate the Québec economy, as well as create and maintain
jobs. In fact, together with our 1,696 partner companies, we helped, alone or
with other financial partners, create, maintain and protect over 122,000 jobs,
an achievement of which I am particularly proud," said Henri Massé.
    "Thanks to our regional presence and investment strategies that meet
genuine needs, such as those of the manufacturing sector, which we continue to
back, we invested in promising projects in all the regions of Québec. One
again this year, with a return of 7.1%, we helped enrich our
574,794 shareholders while respecting our mission. The Fund is a unique,
responsible investment model founded on the importance of supporting
employment and economic development in Québec. And these principles will
continue to underpin our actions," continued Mr. Massé.

    The Fund: a powerful venture and development capital investor

    "Our patient capital and the expertise of our multidisciplinary sector
teams continue to benefit all our partners. Including the investments made by
our regional partners, 92 new companies joined the Fund this year. One of our
biggest challenges is to enable our partners to grow by making them more
competitive, and our teams keep this in mind when suggesting innovative
solutions and products. Thanks to our investment volume this past year, we are
now Québec's leading venture and development capital investor. Our teams find
this fact very gratifying," said Yvon Bolduc.
    "Our business investment portfolio generated a gross return of 10.1%,
attesting to sound choices on our part that paid off for our shareholders.
This successful year shows just how important the role we play in the Québec
economy and in creating wealth for Quebecers. I would like to thank our
shareholders for the trust they place in us year after year, and to
acknowledge the work of our employees and the tireless efforts of our
2,127 local representatives who volunteer their time to spread the word about
the Fund's mission and RRSP in their workplace," added Mr. Bolduc.

    Investing at all stages

    The Fund is present at all the financing stages (start-up, expansion,
export, IPO) and backs companies in all sectors of the economy and all the
regions of Québec through its network of Regional Solidarity Funds and SOLIDE.
The Fund supports start-ups by investing directly or indirectly in Québec or
foreign specialty funds. In fact, in the last four years, the Fund has
invested $554 million to help new businesses get off the ground.

    Serving our shareholders

    The Fund was especially innovative this year where its shareholders are
concerned, personalizing the shareholder booklet even more. A communication
tool that encourages loyalty, the booklet shows shareholders how their
portfolio is performing and provides growth scenarios for their retirement
savings. Moreover, shareholders can now carry out their transactions on the
Fund's secure Website.
    In fiscal 2007, the Fund issued $571 million in shares. In light of the
Fund's incorporating act, the limit for lump-sum contributions was reached on
January 16, 2007. The Fund will be subject to the same restriction for the
year ending May 31, 2008, and estimates the limit at $534 million.
Shareholders who contribute through payroll deduction are not subject to this
restriction.

    Training workers

    The Fund has always placed importance on worker training and as such
offers an economic training program to employees of partner companies with a
view to improving their understanding of the financial aspects of the
companies for which they work. A key benefit of this program is improved
employer-employee communications. This past year, more than 6,300 individuals
participated in this program.

    Taking concrete steps to save the environment

    In response to shareholder wishes, the Fund practices environmental
stewardship in its internal practices as well as in its investments, whether
made directly or in specialty funds. For this year's Annual Meeting and
national local representative meeting, the Fund has made a tangible gesture to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GGE), generated predominantly by vehicles. As
such, it has asked participants to use public transportation. The Fund will
then calculate the GGE generated by these two meetings and pay Planetair a
compensatory amount, which the not-for-profit organization will invest in
renewable energy or energy efficiency projects.
    

    Highlights as at May 31                         2007              2006
                                       (in millions of $)  (in millions of $)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net assets                                     7,239               6,607
    Revenues                                         589                 463
    Net earnings                                     475                 366
    Return                                           7.1%                6.0%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Average annual return since inception: 5.1%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                   (in $)              (in $)
    Net share value                                25.36               23.74

    

    About the Solidarity Fund QFL

    With net assets of over $7.2 billion as at May 31, 2007, the Solidarity
Fund QFL is a development capital company that through its RRSP channels the
savings of Quebecers into investments in all sectors of the economy to help
create and maintain jobs and to further Québec's economic growth. The Fund is
a partner, either directly or through its network members, in 1,696 companies.
It currently has nearly 575,000 shareholders and has helped, on its own or
with other financial partners, to create, maintain and protect over
122,000 jobs. For more information, visit www.fondsftq.com.




For further information:

For further information: The telephone number provided below is for the
exclusive use of journalists and other media representatives: Josée Lagacé,
Senior Advisor, Press Relations and Communications, Fonds de solidarité FTQ,
(514) 850-4835, jlagace@fondsftq.com


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