RBC provides information on writedowns
TORONTO, May 14, 2008 — Royal Bank of Canada
(RY on TSX and NYSE) today announced that its results for
the second quarter ended April 30, 2008 will include writedowns
relating to market conditions of approximately $855 million
pre-tax ($420 million after-tax and reflecting compensation
adjustments). Of this, approximately $715 million relates
to Capital Markets and approximately $140 million relates
to Corporate Support. RBC believes a significant portion of
the writedowns reflect liquidity pressures on assets that
we continue to hold, rather than underlying credit quality.
RBC also expects a gain of approximately $50 million pre-tax
($20 million after-tax) on the change in fair value of its
liabilities designated as held-for-trading as a result of
its credit spreads widening over the second quarter.
In our Structured Credit business, we took valuation adjustments
of approximately $200 million based on credit default spreads
on exposures to a subsidiary of MBIA Inc., a monoline insurer,
and net writedowns of approximately $90 million related to
retained positions in U.S. subprime collateralized debt obligations
of asset-backed securities and other structured credit trading
Market liquidity issues have also impacted our U.S. Auction
Rate Securities ("ARS") and U.S. Municipal GIC businesses.
Although the vast majority of our U.S. ARS are backed by student
loan collateral that is largely government-insured, we took
writedowns of approximately $185 million based on market prices
and a models-based approach to valuations. The fair value
of our investment portfolio supporting our U.S. Municipal
GIC business also reflects writedowns of approximately $140
million based on market prices. This portfolio consists primarily
of agency (Freddie Mac / Fannie Mae) and non-agency mortgage-backed
securities, discount bonds and notes.
Other trading portfolios incurred writedowns of approximately
$175 million, primarily related to market liquidity. Additional
disclosure will be provided in our second quarter results.
As a result of deterioration in the U.S. subprime market,
certain direct holdings classified as available-for-sale ("AFS")
have been deemed to be other than temporarily impaired, based
on estimates of fair value derived from market prices. Writedowns
of approximately $65 million have been recorded against these
RBC is in the process of preparing its second quarter results
and the information above is based on current estimates and
is subject to change.
"We are not happy about taking any writedowns and certainly
do not take them lightly. That said, these writedowns are
manageable and our risk profile continues to remain within
our risk appetite. This is due to our disciplined risk management,
our strong balance sheet and our business diversity,"
said Gordon M. Nixon, president and CEO.
With $633 billion in assets at the end of its first quarter,
RBC is 45 per cent larger than Canada's next largest bank,
and is North America's fifth largest bank by both assets and
market capitalization. Our credit ratings and capital ratios
remain among the highest in the world. RBC's tier 1 capital
ratio is expected to remain in excess of 9 per cent for the
second quarter, even after taking into consideration the acquisition
of Alabama National Bancorporation, which was 50 per cent
funded with cash. This is well above the OSFI's regulatory
target of 7 per cent and above our 2008 objective of 8 per
RBC will release its second quarter results on May 29, 2008.
A conference call is scheduled for May 29 at 12:30 p.m. (EDT)
and will feature a presentation about RBC's second quarter
and year-to-date results by RBC executives. It will be followed
by a question and answer period with analysts. Investors are
invited to submit questions by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested parties can access the call live on a listen-only
basis at: www.rbc.com/investorrelations/ir_events_presentations.html
or by telephone (416-340-2216 or 1-866-898-9626). Please call
between 12:20 p.m. and 12:25 p.m. (EDT).
Speakers' notes will be posted on RBC's website shortly following
the call. Also, a recording will be available by 5:00 p.m.
on May 29 until August 28, 2008 at: www.rbc.com/investorrelations/ir_quarterly.html
or by telephone (416-695-5800 or 1-800-408-3053, passcode
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For further information, please contact:
Beja Rodeck, Director, Media Relations,
(416) 974-5506, email@example.com
Marcia Moffat, Head, Investor Relations
(416) 955-7803, firstname.lastname@example.org
Caution regarding forward-looking statements
From time to time, we make written or oral forward-looking
statements within the meaning of certain securities laws,
including the safe harbor provisions of the United
States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and
any applicable Canadian securities legislation. These forward-looking
statements include, among others, statements with respect
to our expected writedowns in our U.S. Structured Credit,
Auction Rate Securities and Municipal GIC businesses, our
other trading portfolios and losses in certain direct holdings,
as well as gains in liabilities designated as held-for-trading.
Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words
such as believe, expect, estimate
and similar expressions of future or conditional verbs such
as will, may, should or
would. By their very nature, forward-looking statements
require us to make assumptions, and are subject to inherent
risks and uncertainties, which give rise to the possibility
that our predictions, forecasts, projections, expectations
or conclusions will not prove to be accurate, that our assumptions
may not be correct and other forward looking statements will
not be achieved. We caution readers not to place undue reliance
on these statements as a number of important factors could
cause our actual results to differ materially from the expectations
expressed in such forward-looking statements.
These factors include general business
and economic conditions in Canada, the United States, and
other countries in which we conduct business, including the
impact from continuing volatility in the U.S. subprime and
related markets and lack of liquidity in various other financial
markets; the impact of the movement of the Canadian dollar
relative to other currencies, particularly the U.S. dollar,
British pound and Euro; the effects of changes in government
monetary and other policies; the impact of changes in laws
and regulations including tax laws changes in accounting standards,
policies and estimates, including changes in our estimates
of provisions and allowances, and changes to our credit ratings.
We caution that the foregoing list of
important factors that may affect future results is not exhaustive
and other factors could also adversely affect our results.
Except as required by law, we do not undertake to update any
forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may
be made from time to time by us or on our behalf.
Additional information about these and
other factors can be found in our First Quarter 2008 Report
to Shareholders and in our 2007 Annual Report.