BMO facing $12bn costs

Business Materials 20 February 2008 09:36 (UTC +04:00)

( FT )- Canada's BMO Financial will provide up to US$12.2bn, or about 3 per cent of its assets, in liquidity support for two structured investment vehicles that it is seeking to wind down. The group, centred on the Bank of Montreal (NYSE:BMO), will take C$490m in pre-tax charges on its exposure to ACA, the monoline insurer, and other investments hit by credit market turbulence. The latest charges follow a C$680m loss last year on natural-gas trading.

The bank also announced the appointment of a new chief risk officer and shifted the chief executive of its investment banking division, Yvan Bourdeau, to vice-chairman. The charges are expected to lower earnings by 70 cents a share, or C$325m, for the first quarter ended January 31.

The scale of the backstop financing for the two SIVs prompted some analysts to cut their ratings on BMO shares, which closed about 1 per cent lower on Tuesday at C$52.70.