Louis Dreyfus and the National Bank form Alliance

Montreal, 18 March 2004 - 

Montreal, March 18, 2004 – Louis Dreyfus Corporation of Wilton, Connecticut, and National Bank of Canada have announced the formation of a strategic alliance to provide value-added products and services to the natural gas market in Canada. Louis Dreyfus's subsidiary, Louis Dreyfus Energy Canada Inc., will participate with the Bank in developing and providing innovative products, services and risk management to Canadian natural gas producers, aggregators and consumers.

The alliance will couple Louis Dreyfus's physical energy delivery, merchandising and asset optimization capabilities with the Bank's proven energy derivative and financial structuring capabilities.

About Louis Dreyfus

Louis Dreyfus Corporation is a part of the Louis Dreyfus Group, an organization of companies owned and controlled by Paris-based Louis Dreyfus S.A.S. Principal activities of the Group, which was founded in 1851, consist of worldwide processing, trading and merchandising of a broad range of agricultural and energy commodities, telecommunications, manufacturing, real estate development and shipping. Active in the Canadian commodity market for over 60 years, Louis Dreyfus owns and operates a network of newly constructed elevators across Western Canada. For more information, please visit www.louisdreyfus.com.

About the National Bank of Canada

National Bank of Canada is an integrated group which provides comprehensive financial services to consumers, small and medium-sized enterprises and large corporations in its core market, while offering specialized services to its clients elsewhere in the world. The National Bank offers a full array of banking services, including retail, corporate and investment banking. It is an active player on international capital markets and, through its subsidiaries, is involved in securities brokerage, insurance and wealth management as well as mutual fund and retirement plan management. The National Bank has assets of close to $81 billion and, together with its subsidiaries, employs close to 17,000 people. The Bank's securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (NA:TSX). For more information, visit the Bank's website at www.nbc.ca.

Information: (The telephone number and e-mail address provided below are for the exclusive use of journalists and other media representatives.)

Denis Dubé
Manager, Public Relations Department
National Bank of Canada
Tel.: (514) 394-8644
E-mail: denis.dube@nbc.ca