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Press release from CNW Group

Equitable Achieves Investment Grade Ratings

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Equitable Achieves Investment Grade Ratings11:49 EDT Wednesday, July 04, 2012TORONTO, July 4, 2012 /CNW/ - Equitable Group Inc. (TSX: ETC and ETC.PR.A) and its subsidiary The Equitable Trust Company, one of Canada's leading alternative mortgage lenders, today announced that DBRS has initiated credit rating coverage of the Company's debt instruments."We are pleased to have successfully achieved investment grade ratings on the senior debt of Equitable Group Inc., and on the deposits, senior debt, and subordinated debt of The Equitable Trust Company," said Andrew Moor, President and CEO of Equitable Group Inc.  "These ratings reflect the solid financial position of our Company and the quality of our growing asset base."The DBRS ratings are:BBB on the deposits and senior debt of Equitable TrustBBB (low) on the subordinated debt of Equitable TrustBBB (low) on the senior debt of Equitable Group Inc.Equitable Trust's current capital levels are in excess of both current and proposed future (Basel III) regulatory standards and more than sufficient to support the Company's ongoing growth. As a result, the Company has no immediate need to raise capital to fund its operations.  Investment grade ratings are nonetheless important as they provide support in the event the Company wishes to refinance its existing debt at lower rates on maturity or redemption or raise additional capital in future to fund incremental growth opportunities.DBRS is a globally recognized provider of timely credit rating opinions that offer insight and transparency across a broad range of financial institutions, corporate entities, government bodies and various structured finance product groups in North America, Europe, Australasia and South America.ABOUT EQUITABLE GROUP INC.Equitable Group Inc. is a niche mortgage lender. Our primary business is first charge mortgage financing, which we offer through our wholly owned subsidiary, The Equitable Trust Company. Founded in 1970, Equitable Trust is a federally incorporated trust company. It actively originates mortgages across Canada. It serves single family, small and large commercial borrowers and their mortgage advisors. It also serves the investing public as a provider of insured Guaranteed Investment Certificates. Equitable Trust is active in providing GICs across all Canadian provinces and territories. Equitable Group's shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols ETC and ETC.PR.A respectively. Visit the Company on line at www.equitabletrust.com and click on Investor Relations.Cautionary note regarding forward-looking statementsStatements made by the Company in this news release, in other filings with Canadian securities regulators and in other communications include forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws ("forward-looking statements"). These statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the Company's objectives, strategies and initiatives, financial result expectations and other statements made herein, whether with respect to the Company's businesses or the Canadian economy. Generally, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "planned", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases which state that certain actions, events or results "may" , "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved." Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, closing of transactions, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to risks related to capital markets and additional funding requirements, fluctuating interest rates and general economic conditions, legislative and regulatory developments, the nature of our customers and rates of default, and competition as well as those factors discussed under the heading "Risk Management" in the Management's Discussion and Analysis and in the Company's documents filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. All material assumptions used in making forward-looking statements are based on management's knowledge of current business conditions and expectations of future business conditions and trends, including their knowledge of the current credit, interest rate and liquidity conditions affecting the Company and the Canadian economy. Although the Company believes the assumptions used to make such statements are reasonable at this time and has attempted to identify in its continuous disclosure documents important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended.  Certain material assumptions are applied by the Company in making forward-looking statements, including without limitation, assumptions regarding its continued ability to fund its mortgage business at current levels, a continuation of the current level of economic uncertainty that affects real estate market conditions, continued acceptance of its products in the marketplace, as well as no material changes in its operating cost structure and the current tax regime. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements that are contained herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.For further information: Andrew Moor President and Chief Executive Officer (416) 513-3519 Tim Wilson Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (416) 513-3505