A group of financial institutions agree on a solution to the liquidity problem on the structured finance asset-backed commercial paper market

    MONTREAL, Aug. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - A number of major players in Canada's
financial markets met today in Montréal to work out a solution to the
liquidity problem affecting the third party structured finance asset-backed
commercial paper ("Third Party ABCP") market in Canada being those conduits
listed in Annex A. The following institutions were present: ABN AMRO, Barclays
Capital, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Desjardins Group, Deutsche
Bank, HSBC, PSP Investments, Merrill Lynch, National Bank and UBS
(collectively the "Signatories").

    DBRS was present for these discussions.

    The Signatories have agreed in principle to the Long Term Proposal and
Interim Agreement set out below and to work together in good faith with the
other participants in the discussions to bring about the timely implementation
of these arrangements. The institutional investors who are Signatories are
confident that they have the support of investors who, together with them,
hold at least 66 2/3% of all outstanding Third Party ABCP. The Signatories are
also confident that additional market participants will confirm their
agreement with these arrangements within the next few hours. In addition, the
Signatories understand that the sponsors of the Third Party ABCP conduits
support the objectives of this initiative.



    The purpose of these arrangements is to help establish normal operations
in the Canadian Third Party ABCP market.

    Long Term Proposal

    The general agreements summarized below will have to be adapted to the
circumstances of each Third Party ABCP conduit, however they define a
framework for the restructuring of these conduits.

    1. All outstanding Third Party ABCP, including extendible Third Party
       ABCP, will be converted into term floating rate notes (FRNs) maturing
       no earlier than the scheduled termination date of the corresponding
       underlying assets (together with pay through notes for Third Party
       ABCP conduits which have mixed traditional and CDO assets).
    2. Existing liquidity facilities will therefore not be necessary and will
       be cancelled and all outstanding liquidity calls will be revoked.
    3. Interest on the FRNs will be payable monthly or quarterly, as the case
       may be, to match the fixed payment dates under the underlying assets.
    4. Margin provisions will be revised to create renewed stability, thereby
       reducing the likelihood of near term margin calls.

    Interim Agreement

    The Signatories have agreed as follows:

    1. Holders of Third Party ABCP who are Signatories will continue to roll
       their Third Party ABCP during the period ending 60 days following the
       date of this Agreement (the "Standstill Period").  For greater
       certainty this commitment is limited to Third Party ABCP beneficially
       owned by the Signatories.
    2. The Signatories will encourage all other holders of Third Party ABCP
       to continue to roll their Third Party ABCP.
    3. Signatories who are counterparties of the Third Party ABCP conduits
       will not pursue any existing margin calls or make any further margin
       calls during the Standstill Period.
    4. The Third Party ABCP conduits will agree not to pursue any existing
       liquidity calls during the Standstill Period or make any further
       liquidity calls for 150 days after the Standstill Period.
    5. All Signatories will encourage all other Third Party ABCP market
       participants, including note trustees, to take all actions to
       implement the long term proposal and to refrain from taking any
       actions that will hinder the implementation of the long term

    Process and Timing

    Implementing the ultimate resolution will generally require noteholder
meetings and in some cases may require court applications.  Although these
processes will need to be carried out on a conduit by conduit basis, it is
expected that all necessary steps to give effect to each restructuring will be
completed within 30 to 60 days.
    Ernst & Young has been appointed to assist in the implementation of these
arrangements. Holders of ABCP who would like to participate in the
implementation of the Long Term Proposal should contact Pierre Laporte of
Ernst & Young at the following telephone number: (514) 875-6060.

    Further information is available at:

                                   ANNEX A
                          THIRD PARTY ABCP CONDUITS

                                 Apollo Trust
                                 Aurora Trust
                                 Comet Trust
                                 Encore Trust
                                 Gemini Trust
                                 MMAI-I Trust
                                 Planet Trust
                                 Rocket Trust
                                 SLATE Trust
                       Structured Investment Trust III
                                 Apsley Trust
                                 Aria Trust
                               Devonshire Trust
                               Foundation Trust
                               Ironstone Trust
                                 Opus Trust
                            Selkirk Funding Trust
                              Silverstone Trust
                             Skeena Capital Trust
                           Structured Asset Trust
                               Symphony Trust
                               Whitehall Trust
                           Newshore Canadian Trust

For further information:

For further information: NATIONAL Public Relations: Roch Landriault:
(514) 843-2345, Cell.: (514) 249-4537

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