Merchants Bancshares Inc Declares Dividend, Election of Danaher as New Bank DirectorSOUTH BURLINGTON, VT-Merchants Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBVT), the parent company of Merchants Bank, has announced that its Board of Directors declared a dividend of 28 cents per share, payable August 21, 2008, to shareholders of record as of August 7, 2008. Merchants plans to release earnings on or about July 30, 2008.Mr. Michael Tuttle, Merchants’ President and Chief Executive Officer; and Ms. Janet Spitler, Merchants’ Chief Financial Officer, will host a conference call to discuss these earnings results at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Friday, August 1, 2008. Interested parties may participate in the conference call by dialing (888) 428-4480; the title of the call is Earnings Release Conference Call for Merchants Bancshares, Inc. Participants are asked to call a few minutes prior to register. A replay will be available until noon on Friday, August 8, 2008. The U.S. replay dial-in telephone number is (800) 475-6701. The international replay telephone number is (320) 365-3844. The replay access code for both replay telephone numbers is 902417.Merchants also announced today the election, effective August 21, 2008, of the newest member of Merchants Bank’s Board of Directors, Karen Danaher, CPA, PFS of Danaher, Attig & Plante PLC, a South Burlington-based accounting firm.Vermont Matters! The continuing mission of Merchants Bank is to provide Vermonters with a state-wide community bank that blends a strong technology platform with a genuine appreciation for local markets. Merchants Bank fulfills this commitment through a branch-based system that includes 36 community bank offices and 44 ATMs throughout Vermont, Personal Bankers dedicated to top-quality customer service and streamlined solutions, including: Personal Checking and Savings with Free Checking for Life(r), CashRewards CheckingSM, a low-cost Money Market Account, Free Online Banking and Bill Pay, Overdraft Coverage, Direct Deposit, Free Debit Card and Free Automated Phone Banking; Business Banking with Rewards Checking for Business, Business Online Banking and Bill Pay, Business Lines of Credit and Merchant Card Processing; Small Business Loans; Health Savings Accounts; Credit Cards; Flexible Certificates of Deposit; Vehicle Loans; Home Equity Credit; and Home Mortgages. Visit mbvt.com for more information. Merchants’ stock is traded on the NASDAQ National Market system under the symbol MBVT. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.Some of the statements contained in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements relate to expectations, beliefs, projections, future plans and strategies, anticipated events or trends and similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts. The forward-looking statements reflect Merchants’ current views about future events and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions and changes in circumstances that may cause Merchants’ actual results to differ significantly from those expressed in any forward-looking statement. Forward-looking statements should not be relied on since they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that are, in some cases, beyond Merchants’ control and which could materially affect actual results. The factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include changes in general economic conditions in Vermont, changes in interest rates, changes in competitive product and pricing pressures among financial institutions within Merchants’ markets, and changes in the financial condition of Merchants’ borrowers. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent Merchants’ judgment as of the date of this release, and Merchants cautions readers not to place undue reliance on such statements. For further information, please refer to Merchants’ reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.###
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho may have strike options for Sunday’s trip to Manchester United after all following Loic Remy’s declaration that he hopes to be fit for the Barclays Premier League leaders’ clash at Old Trafford. Remy is hopeful of playing in what would be a boost for the Portuguese. The France striker said: “I will see what happens in the next few days. But I am ready for Manchester United, of course. “I got the injury before I scored. I felt a little bit sore. I preferred to keep going and stay on the pitch. I really hope that it is not too bad. “These things happen but the most important thing is we won. I was disappointed when I came off but there is no reason to be afraid. “We must now look forward to the game against Manchester United.” Remy was deputising for Diego Costa, the scorer of nine goals in seven Premier League games who is yet to feature since the international break when, Mourinho says, a hamstring problem was exacerbated on Spain duty. Mourinho has put no timescale on Costa’s return, only saying the £32million signing from Atletico Madrid had “very little” chance of playing at United, but it would not be a surprise were the Blues to be headed by the formidable frontman at Old Trafford. Costa’s hamstrings have been a regular discussion point this season but, following the defeat of Arsenal – admittedly prior to Spain’s matches with Slovakia and Luxembourg – captain John Terry questioned where the reports of an injury had come from and described his team-mate as a handful in training. Press Association Mourinho deployed, out of choice rather than necessity, Andre Schurrle as a ‘false nine’ at United last season and, if Costa and Remy are out, will have only one recognised striker to call on in Didier Drogba. The 36-year-old has only just returned from an ankle problem and scored the first goal of his second Blues spell from the penalty spot against Maribor. Mourinho had declared on Monday that Drogba was not fit to play for 90 minutes, but after featuring for 75 the Ivory Coast striker was content. “I’m happy with the minutes I played against Maribor,” Drogba said. “There was no reaction (for his ankle) so I’m happy. “It was special to score for Chelsea again in my stadium. I always felt lucky when I had the chance to score here, to have that feeling again is great. “It’s a big coincidence scoring my first goal with a penalty after my last for the club was also a penalty in the (2012) Champions League final.” On Sunday’s match, Drogba added: “It is up to the manager to decide.” Remy wanted to take his chance in Costa’s absence. “It’s frustrating, of course, because I had a chance to play because Costa is injured but I am not afraid,” Remy added. “I don’t think it is really bad. We will check and I really hope to play again this weekend. “It is a huge game but every game is tough. Especially this one because it is a big game against a good opponent but I will try to recover as quickly as possible.” Mourinho gave Dominic Solanke his Chelsea debut, aged 17 years and 37 days. The teenager had been poised to come on at Crystal Palace but a late goal meant Drogba was sent on for stoppage time to become Chelsea’s youngest Champions League player. Solanke told Chelsea TV: “I nearly made it the other day (at Selhurst Park). This was a lot more special at Stamford Bridge in the Champions League. “It’s a great bit of history. It’s amazing, really. I’m just speechless.” As for the possibility of playing at United on Sunday, Solanke added: “You have to be ready. You’ve got to take your opportunity when you get it.” Remy scored the opening goal in Tuesday night’s 6-0 Champions League Group G win over Maribor before departing with a groin injury which saw Mourinho rule him out of the United duel. Chelsea’s first team had a day off on Wednesday, with Mourinho insisting he did not wish to know any injury news until preparations for Old Trafford began in earnest on Thursday.