BMO Comments on Apex and Sitka Trusts

    TORONTO, Feb. 29 /CNW/ - BMO confirmed that, despite the downgrade of the
ratings of the notes of Apex Trust and Sitka Trust by DBRS yesterday,
discussions regarding the restructuring of the two Trusts are continuing. BMO
also confirmed that a cure period of two business days is available after a
notice of default has been given by the indenture trustee to the Trusts with
respect to the inability of the Trusts to roll their notes. BMO said that
while discussions about the restructuring of the Trusts continue, it cannot
predict the outcome of such discussions. The outcome of these discussions will
not impact BMO's emphasis on moving its businesses forward through a clear
focus on customers and performance management.
    BMO previously disclosed that if efforts to restructure the Trusts were
not successful, it would write down its remaining investment in the Trusts.
    BMO is not and has never been the backup liquidity provider to the
    In addition, BMO noted that these developments have no impact on the
ratings of or BMO's support for the BMO-sponsored conduits to which BMO
provides global style liquidity.
    BMO also noted that there is risk of litigation should the Trusts not
successfully be restructured. One noteholder to the trust is disputing the
return of a payment made to it in error and a swap counterparty is disputing
its obligations under an agreement and with respect to a total return swap
transaction it had previously confirmed. It is not possible to determine the
amount or probability of losses, if any, at this time.

    Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

    Bank of Montreal's public communications often include written or oral
forward-looking statements. Statements of this type are included in this
document, and may be included in other filings with Canadian securities
regulators or the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or in other
communications. All such statements are made pursuant to the 'safe harbor'
provisions of, and are intended to be forward-looking statements under, the
United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and any
applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements may
involve, but are not limited to, comments with respect to our objectives and
priorities for 2008 and beyond, our strategies or future actions, our targets,
expectations for our financial condition or share price, and the results of or
outlook for our operations or for the Canadian and U.S. economies.
    By their nature, forward-looking statements require us to make
assumptions and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. There is
significant risk that predictions, forecasts, conclusions or projections will
not prove to be accurate, that our assumptions may not be correct and that
actual results may differ materially from such predictions, forecasts,
conclusions or projections. We caution readers of this document not to place
undue reliance on our forward-looking statements as a number of factors could
cause actual future results, conditions, actions or events to differ
materially from the targets, expectations, estimates or intentions expressed
in the forward-looking statements.
    The future outcomes that relate to forward-looking statements may be
influenced by many factors, including but not limited to: general economic and
market conditions in the countries in which we operate; interest rate and
currency value fluctuations; changes in monetary policy; the degree of
competition in the geographic and business areas in which we operate; changes
in laws; judicial or regulatory proceedings; the accuracy and completeness of
the information we obtain with respect to our customers and counterparties;
our ability to execute our strategic plans and to complete and integrate
acquisitions; critical accounting estimates; operational and infrastructure
risks; general political conditions; global capital market activities; the
possible effects on our business of war or terrorist activities; disease or
illness that impacts on local, national or international economies;
disruptions to public infrastructure, such as transportation, communications,
power or water supply; and technological changes.
    We caution that the foregoing list is not exhaustive of all possible
factors. Other factors could adversely affect our results. For more
information, please see the discussion on pages 28 and 29 of BMO's 2007 Annual
Report, which outlines in detail certain key factors that may affect BMO's
future results. When relying on forward-looking statements to make decisions
with respect to Bank of Montreal, investors and others should carefully
consider these factors, as well as other uncertainties and potential events,
and the inherent uncertainty of forward-looking statements. Bank of Montreal
does not undertake to update any forward-looking statement, whether written or
oral, that may be made, from time to time, by the organization or on its
behalf. The forward-looking information contained in this document is
presented for the purpose of assisting our shareholders in understanding our
financial position as at and for the periods ended on the dates presented and
our strategic priorities and objectives, and may not be appropriate for other

For further information:

For further information: For News Media Enquiries: Ralph Marranca,
Toronto,, (416) 867-3996; Ronald Monet, Montreal,, (514) 877-1101; Amy Yuhn, Chicago,, (312) 461-2478; For Investor Relations Enquiries:
Viki Lazaris, Toronto,, (416) 867-6656; Steven Bonin,
Toronto,, (416) 867-5452; Krista White, Toronto,, (416) 867-7019; Internet:

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