Solidarity Fund QFL Announces Results for the Fiscal Year Ended May 31, 2008



    MONTREAL, July 4 /CNW Telbec/ - Despite the economic slowdown in North
America, turbulence on the capital markets and major disruptions that affected
businesses, notably, the strong Canadian dollar and rising oil prices, the
Solidarity Fund QFL ("Fund") held its own and limited the decrease in its
return, which reached -1.2% for the fiscal year ended May 31, 2008. Small caps
suffered the most from the tough business climate impacting public companies.
Share value therefore fell to $25.05, down $0.31 from the price published
July 5, 2007.
    Net assets rose $46 million over last year to $7.3 billion at year-end.
The Fund continued to carefully manage its operations with the result that the
operating expense ratio held steady at 1.4% of average net assets, a level
that compares favourably with the industry's top performers.

    Two records set on the occasion of the Fund's 25th anniversary

    The Fund set a new investment record of $730 million in fiscal 2008.
Together with its regional Funds, the organization backed a total of 140
partner companies. By making so many investments, the Fund was able to help
businesses facing economic and market challenges as well as those pursuing
growth and expansion.
    Shareholder contributions amounted to $611 million dollars, including a
record $446 million through systematic savings, i.e., payroll deduction and
pre-authorized withdrawals. This performance is thanks to the ongoing efforts
of the Fund's local representatives in the workplace and the quality of
service offered by the Shareholder Services team to the Fund's 575,000
shareholders.
    "Despite a difficult economic and financial situation, our teams
demonstrated tremendous rigour. Our local representatives also continued to
actively promote the Fund in the workplace. On the occasion of the Fund's 25th
anniversary, the members of the Board and I would like to reiterate our
confidence in all those who contribute to its development. I would also like
to thank our shareholders for their loyalty and acknowledge our dynamic
partner companies," said Michel Arsenault, Chairman of the Fund's Board of
Directors and President of the QFL.
    "Although share value fell in fiscal 2008, the Fund's performance
compares favourably with a number of stock indices(1) and other balanced
funds, especially when you consider our unique mission to serve Québec
businesses and our asset classes. I am particularly proud of our investment
volume this past year. Going into the next financial year, we will continue to
provide patient capital and help businesses develop at a time when credit is
hard to come by. We will support them in their drive for more productivity and
competitiveness and with their expansion or acquisition projects. We will also
continue encouraging people to save more, especially young people. After
25 years, the Fund is still unique thanks to, among other things, the economic
training it offers workers. Our positive economic impact on Québec is stronger
than ever," added the Fund's president and chief executive officer, Yvon
Bolduc.

    The 60% rule

    During the last fiscal year, the fund complied with its 60% rule
following temporary easing by the Québec government. For the fiscal year
ending May 31, 2009, the Board of Directors has set the share issue limit at
$700 million for shares giving rise to labour-sponsored fund tax credits,
allowing more Quebecers to save for retirement while contributing to the
economic development of Québec.

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Highlights as at May 31                   2008               2007
                                       (in millions of $) (in millions of $)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net assets                               7,284.9            7,239.0
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Revenue                                      9.7              590.5
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net earnings (net loss)                    (89.2)             475.0
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Annual return                               (1.2)%              7.1%

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Average annual return since inception: 4.8%

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           (in dollars)       (in dollars)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net value per share                        25.05              25.36
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    (1) From June 1, 2007 to May 31, 2008, Canadian balanced mutual funds
    returned -3.3% on average (source: Global neutral balanced funds compiled
    by globefund.com), the Québec Nesbitt Index was down 25%, the S&P 500
    lost 8.5%, the Nasdaq slipped 3.1% and the Russell 2000 fell 11.7%. For
    its part, the S&P/TSX was up 4.7% for the same period.




For further information:

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


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