Syndicate Renews $5B Strip Bond Programme

On December 20, 2004, RBC Dominion Securities Inc., BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc., CIBC World Markets Inc., National Bank Financial Inc., Scotia Capital Inc. and TD Securities Inc. obtained a receipt for a final base shelf prospectus for the CARSTM (Coupons And ResidualS) and PARSTM (Par Adjusted Rate Securities) Program qualifying an offering of strip securities to be derived from up to $5 billion of investment grade debt obligations of various Canadian corporations, trusts and partnerships. An MRRS Decision Document was also obtained from the Canadian securities regulatory authorities to permit, among other things, the base shelf prospectus system to be used for the CARS and PARS Program. The CARS and PARS Program was originally established by RBC Dominion Securities Inc. in November 2002 and then amended and expanded to include the other dealers in March 2003.

A total of 105 offerings in respect of an aggregate of approximately $1.65 billion of strip securities have been completed under the CARS and PARS Programs, involving a variety of underlying issuers, including Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, the Bank of Nova Scotia, the Toronto-Dominion Bank, BCE Inc., Bell Canada, TELUS Communications Inc., Greater Toronto Airports Authority, TransCanada Pipelines Ltd. and Hydro One Inc.

The CARS and PARS Program provides a mechanism for retail investors to participate in the secondary market for corporate, trust and partnership debt. The PARS component of the program is designed to make available a strip package that is priced at or about par by way of including an interest component reflective of a current market rate plus return of principal at maturity.
In connection with the obtaining of regulatory relief, filing of the base shelf prospectus and establishing and operating the renewed CARS and PARS Program, RBC Dominion Securities Inc., BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc., CIBC World Markets Inc., National Bank Financial Inc., Scotia Capital Inc. and TD Securities Inc. were represented by Mihkel Voore, Donald Belovich, Kevin Kelly, Amanda Linett, Lisa Houston and Andrea Crum-Ewing of Stikeman Elliott LLP. They had previously acted as counsel in connection with establishing and operating the predecessor CARS and PARS Programs.