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BMO Welcomes Canada's International Trade Minister to Its Guangzhou Branch

BMO Guangzhou "Most popular FX market maker and biggest non-USD Market Maker" in China

GUANGZHOU, CHINA--(Marketwire - Oct. 9, 2011) -

Editors Note: There are two photos associated with this Press Release.

BMO ChinaCo welcomed Canada's International Trade minister, the Honourable Ed Fast, to its Guangzhou branch today during the minister's visit to China. Minister Fast took the opportunity to meet with BMO staff as he touted the benefits of increased trade and investment ties between China and Canada.

"Increased trade and investment benefits middle class families in both countries," said Minister Fast. "Canada's world-class financial institutions, like BMO, are delivering financial security and stability to a growing middle-class in China, and their success abroad, creates prosperity and opportunity for families back in Canada. The success of Canada's world-class financial services sector and institutions abroad is a key example of Canada's capabilities, expertise, and what Canada can offer its important trade partners like China."

"China and Canada are close friends, and we're very pleased to welcome Minister Fast and support the Government of Canada's continued efforts to strengthen the ties that bind our two great countries," said Brendan Wong, Managing Director and Head of Guangzhou, BMO ChinaCo. "Canada has many advantages, including prudent fiscal policy, low inflation, interest and unemployment rates, and a corporate tax framework that is among the best in the world. Forbes Magazine just named Canada the best country in the world for business, and Canada's banking system has been ranked the soundest in the world by the World Economic Forum for the last four years. Canada also has a sophisticated transportation infrastructure and a strategic location at the crossroads between the North American marketplace and Asia.

"BMO has the expertise and deep local knowledge to support trade and investment between China and North America, and help our customers capitalize on the enormous opportunities in both," said Mr. Wong. "Our commitment to China is unmatched by any other Canadian bank and dates back to 1818 – just a year after our founding. BMO is one of only a handful of North American banks, and the only Canadian bank, to have a wholly-owned subsidiary bank in China."

BMO is the only Canadian bank with branches in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Hong Kong, and was the first Canadian bank permitted to operate in the capital. The Bank also has a representative office in Taipei, Taiwan and an Investment Banking representative office in Beijing.

In July 2005, BMO's Guangzhou branch became the first Canadian bank location to be granted a license to provide RMB local currency service such as deposits and loans to both foreign and local companies in China, providing greater access to financial services in the country.

In 2010, BMO was named one of the "Most Popular Market Makers in China" by the China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS) for the third consecutive year. This award is determined by popular vote among market makers. As in previous years, BMO was the only foreign bank to have won this award. All other recipients were Chinese banks, including Industrial Bank of China, Bank of China and Bank of Communications. In addition, BMO was again awarded "Best non-USD Market Maker" for the third year running. Of the 29 member banks in the Guangzhou jurisdiction, BMO is the only market maker and the only bank to have won this award.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly-diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $477 billion as at July 31, 2011, and more than 47,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

For further information:
News Media Contacts:
Paul Deegan, Toronto
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Shenghow Lim, Beijing
+8610 8588 1487