Solidarity Fund QFL Reports A Positive Six-Month Return and An Increase in Share Price to $25.40



    MONTREAL, Jan. 4 /CNW Telbec/ - The Solidarity Fund QFL (the "Fund") has
announced a positive return for the first six-month period of its fiscal year
(June 1 to November 30, 2007) and reports a tenth straight semi-annual
increase in share price, which will go up $0.04 to $25.40.
    The QFL's new president and chairman of the Fund's board of directors,
Michel Arsenault, expressed his confidence in the Fund as a solid institution
that plays a fundamental role in terms of allowing its shareholders to build
their savings for retirement and in the Québec economy by promoting job
creation. With its investments, the Fund provides businesses with a lever to
help them grow and prosper.
    The Fund managed to hold its own despite a drop in the principal Canadian
and U.S. stock markets, a soaring loonie that hurt business, particularly in
the manufacturing sector, and higher interest rates for companies that raise
capital through bond issues. Thus, the Fund generated a return of 0.2% and net
earnings of $13 million during the six-month period, and now has $7.4 billion
in net assets.
    "By carefully managing our assets, we were able to soften the impact of
the market's turbulence on our results and to generate a return that under the
circumstances is acceptable. Our partner companies, mainly those in the
manufacturing sector, are facing many challenges, and our investment teams
continue to work tirelessly with them to improve productivity and
competitiveness in the medium and long term," stated the Fund's President and
Chief Executive Officer, Yvon Bolduc.
    The Fund continued to back Québec businesses. For example, in the
bio-pharmaceutical sector, it invested $37 million in Atrium Innovations to
foster the company's growth; in the aerospace manufacturing sector, it backed
Mecachrome International with an additional investment of $15 million; it also
continued to stand behind Bluestreak Technology in the IT sector, providing
the firm with another $8 million; and finally, in the value-added textile
sector, it brought its investment in Stedfast up to $3.6 million to help the
company maintain jobs, expand and sharpen its competitive edge.
    Moreover, it bears mentioning that the Fund closed its subscription
campaign on December 28, 2007 for lump-sum contributions or new requests for
pre-authorized withdrawals as it has reached the ceiling for these two types
of contributions. This measure does not affect shareholders who contribute or
who wish to begin contributing through payroll deduction or those enrolled in
an employer contribution program. It also has no impact on redemptions. The
limit for contributions giving rise to tax credits is $600 million for the
current fiscal year.
    On another note, the Québec government recently reiterated its confidence
in the Fund by temporarily modifying the 60% rule and pointing out that funds
such as the Solidarity Fund QFL are an important economic development tool for
Québec because they play a key role in the development of local businesses,
especially in the regions. "The government therefore recognizes the important
role we play in the economy. The positioning we have carved is directly tied
to our desire to back the growth projects of Québec businesses," concluded
Mr. Arsenault.

    Financial highlights

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          November 30, 2007    May 31, 2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                (in dollars)    (in dollars)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net share value                                   25.40           25.36
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    (in millions of dollars)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net assets                                        7,411           7,239
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          November 30
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       2007            2006
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          (6 months)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Revenues                                             61             230
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net earnings                                         13             176
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Six-month return                                    0.2%            2.7%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Average annual return since inception: 5.0%

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


    About the Solidarity Fund QFL

    With net assets of over $7.4 billion as at November 30, 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 more than 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: Note: 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, Cell: (514) 707-5180, jlagace@fondsftq.com


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