TORONTO, November 20, 2006 - First Asset PowerGen Trust III (TSX: PGT.UN) announces that it will start paying monthly distributions of $0.10 per unit. The distribution for November will be paid on or about December 15, 2006 to unitholders of record on November 30, 2006.
As of November 17, 2006, the $0.10 per unit distribution represents an annualized yield of 8% based on the closing trading price ($15.00 per unit), and 6% based on the net asset value per unit ($19.75 per unit). It is currently anticipated that the Trust's distributions will consist entirely of non-taxable returns of capital until such time as all existing capital and non-capital losses in the Trust are exhausted. Accordingly, the annualized yield of $1.20 per unit represents a pre-tax interest equivalent yield of approximately 15% based on the most recent closing trading price and approximately 11% based on the most recent net asset value per unit.
With respect to the portfolio, the investment advisor continues to believe that substantial opportunities exist in power and related infrastructure assets. Power and pipeline companies feature high levels of return of capital, long-dated contracts and stable business models. In addition, these infrastructure assets tend to be the biggest beneficiaries of a stable to declining interest rate environment.
As of November 3, 2006, the Trust's portfolio was comprised of 100% cash. The investment advisor believes that a formerly undervalued sector has become a very undervalued sector and believes that the Trust should outperform for the foreseeable future. The announcement by the Federal Minister of Finance of the proposed "Tax Fairness Plan for Canadians" (the "Fairness Plan") together with year-end tax loss selling have led to a decline in the price of the various power and infrastructure income trusts. The Trust has been able to invest at these reduced valuations in the sector. In addition, the investment advisor intends to maintain a substantial cash balance (currently approximately 48%) which will enable the Trust to allocate incremental dollars to top-quality equities and income trusts on any further pullback in the sector.
The investment advisor believes that the recent weakness in the Trust's trading price is a reflection of (i) residual selling pressure resulting from the change of the Trust's investment mandate; (ii) low trading volume; and (iii) uncertainty created by the Fairness Plan. The Manager wishes to reiterate that, based on the information provided by the Ministry of Finance, the Trust is not adversely affected by the Fairness Plan.
For further information, please call Paul V. Dinelle, Executive Vice-President, First Asset Funds Inc. at 416-642-1289 or 1-877-642-1289 or visit www.firstassetfunds.com.