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BMO Capital Markets Becomes the First Canadian Bank To Trade Foreign Exchange Options in the Chinese Yuan

- New License Solidifies BMO's Position as a Leading Bank in China's Emerging FX Market

- Follows BMO's Recent Opening of a Hong Kong Foreign Exchange Office

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 5, 2011) - BMO Capital Markets, the investment and corporate banking arm of BMO Financial Group (NYSE:BMO)(TSX:BMO), this week started trading foreign exchange options in the Chinese Yuan (CNY).

BMO received the license approval from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), making BMO the first Canadian bank to trade FX options in CNY as an interbank market member in China.

"This license allows BMO to solidify our position as a leading bank in China's emerging foreign exchange market," said Jamie Thorsen, Executive Managing Director & Head of Foreign Exchange and China Capital Markets, BMO Capital Markets.

"BMO is the first Canadian bank to have the license to trade Yuan options in China and one of only two North American banks to have this market access. BMO is also the first Canadian bank to provide cross-border Yuan payment service for its North American client base. As a full-suite participant in China's onshore FX market, BMO is uniquely equipped to provide comprehensive Yuan market information to our global client base to help them with their Yuan exposures and payment requests," added Ms. Thorsen.

Although the Yuan is not fully convertible, the pace to become an international currency has accelerated significantly. In the first quarter this year, total Yuan international denominated transactions were CNY 360 billion. In comparison, the total last year was CNY 500 billion.

BMO is committed to bolstering its capital markets presence in the Pan Asian market. Last month, BMO opened a foreign exchange office in Hong Kong. In addition, BMO is expanding its financial products and debt products capabilities in Hong Kong. A team of sales and trading specialists have been hired to support the firm's latest growth efforts, doubling the size of the Hong Kong office.

"BMO Capital Markets' foreign exchange presence gives us a clear advantage in growing our existing business and capitalizing on the tremendous growth potential of the Pan Asian market," said David Mu, Managing Director, BMO Capital Markets in China. "Our strategic priority is to maintain our position as a leading provider of Canadian dollar foreign exchange products globally," he said.

About BMO in China

BMO Financial Group is the only Canadian bank, with branches in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Hong Kong. It is the only foreign financial institution headquartered in Beijing. BMO also has a representative office in Taipei, Taiwan and an Investment Banking representative office in Beijing.

In September 2010, BMO officially opened its new incorporated subsidiary, Bank of Montreal (China) Co. Ltd. (BMO ChinaCo), allowing the bank the flexibility to expand its product and service offerings for North American and Chinese clients. In addition, BMO recently became the first Canadian bank to offer North American commercial clients the ability to make payments directly to Chinese companies in the Chinese Yuan.

A History of Excellence

BMO's Foreign Exchange Group is a recognized leader in Canadian Dollar foreign exchange. The group has consistently won several global awards for its capabilities. Most recently, BMO was named the Best Forex Provider, North America by Global Banking & Finance Review; Best FX Bank North America by DealMaker's Monthly survey and Top 20 FX Bank Globally by FX Week Magazine. In China, for the fourth year in a row, BMO was named one of the Most Popular Market Makers in China and the Best Non-U.S. Dollar Market Maker by the China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS).

About BMO Capital Markets

BMO Capital Markets is a member of BMO Financial Group (NYSE:BMO)(TSX:BMO), one of the largest diversified financial services providers in North America with CDN$413 billion total assets and 38,000 employees as at January 31, 2011.



For further information:
Media Contacts:
Beja Rodeck, Toronto
(416) 867-3996

Holly Holt, New York
(212) 885-4153

Shenghow Lim, Beijing
(86-10) 8588 1487