MONTREAL, Dec. 3 /CNW Telbec/ - In a November 29, 2007 press release,
rating agency DBRS confirmed that the exposure of the Caisse de dépôt et
placement du Québec (the "Caisse") is not a risk to its credit profile. During
a hearing before the Public Finance Committee of the National Assembly of
Québec, the Caisse announced that its exposure to third-party ABCP totalled
These holdings are part of the ongoing restructuring initiative under the
Montréal Accord. Of the $13.2 billion, the Caisse estimates its exposure to
U.S. subprime mortgages to be under $1 billion, potentially resulting in a
year-end provision of a maximum of $500 million. The remaining $12.2 billion
consists of high-quality assets, as confirmed by DBRS and the external
advisors to the Crawford Committee.
The report released by DBRS states that, even though the Caisse's ABCP
holdings will impact its returns due to the provision taken on these assets,
these holdings remain manageable for the Caisse as a result of three factors:
- The Caisse's large investment portfolio, totalling $207 billion as at
December 31, 2006;
- The Caisse's substantial liquidity position, comprising high-quality
fixed income assets, used as backup liquidity for the commercial paper
program of Caisse subsidiary CDP Financial;
- The Caisse's asset diversification and the annual returns of 12%-15%
recorded since 2002, well above the 7% annual return requirement by
depositors, providing the Caisse with a significant cushion against a
financial market downturn.
In addition, DBRS reported that the Caisse's debt financing, via its CDP
Financial subsidiary, remains fairly low, at less than 4% of net assets, while
the overall liquidity needs of depositors are manageable, with contributions
to the Caisse expected to exceed withdrawals for some time.
The Caisse and CDP Financial are rated R-1 (high) and AAA, the highest
ratings granted by DBRS.
The press release is available from DBRS at www.dbrs.com under "Press
For further information:
For further information: Annie Vallières, Media Relations, (514)