TORONTO, April 9, 2008—CARP announced today that it is supporting nearly 1,800 small retail investors across Canada who are holders of some $400 million in frozen asset-backed commercial paper and that the organization, representing more than 350,000 Canadians and their families, expects a better deal for its members.
CARP applauds the move by Canaccord Capital Inc. to buy back a combined $138 million of restructured notes from clients, whose personal investments in the so-called ABCP are less than $1 million each. Canaccord indicated that 1,430 of its clients, or 97 per cent of the small investors who own ABCP, would be eligible.
“This is welcome but addressing only $138 million out of nearly $400 million held by the small retail investors falls far short of the mark. This still leaves the clients of the other firms hanging. The key is that the offer is dependent on the restructuring being approved.” said Susan Eng, Vice President of Advocacy at CARP.
Although there is not yet a complete profile of these retail savings clients, it appears that large numbers of them are seniors with relatively small amounts held in ABCP, even though the amounts often represents the bulk of their savings.
“Many Canadians in the 50+ age demographic are retirees, or are getting close to retirement, and require stability in their personal finances to provide basic necessities, health care and appropriate accommodation, let alone enjoying their senior years,” added Eng “Their greatest fear is outliving their money. This turmoil is the last thing they need.”
CARP has been in contact with key players and several investor activists, who represent a class of several hundred holders with rights to vote at a meeting on the restructuring proposal for the $32 billion Canadian ABCP market developed by a group of large investors, including banks and brokerages, that is scheduled to be held in Toronto on April 25, 2008.
Significantly, CARP also points out to its members and small ABCP investors that they have “uncommon leverage in the upcoming vote on the ABCP market restructuring proposal” because each investor, large or small, is entitled to a single vote.
“The small retail investors outnumber the large investors by more than 10 to 1,” noted Eng. “All investors have equal voice in whether or not the $32 billion ABCP market is restructured, and this gives the big players an incentive to bail out the smaller investors.”
CARP is the leading national voice for Canada’s 50-Plus [Zoomer] population mandated to provide its members with powerful advocacy on issues affecting their health, their finances and their rights, a range of useful benefits and savings and community support through local and regional chapters for an overall improved quality of life.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Susan Eng Vice-President, Advocacy CARP, Canada’s Association for the Fifty-Plus P: 416-363-8748 x226 Toll-Free: 1-800-363-9736 x226 [email protected]