MANULIFE MUTUAL FUNDS LAUNCHES THREE NEW EMERGING MARKETS FUNDS, ALONG WITH A HOST OF NEW CORPORATE CLASSES

  • Expands Manulife's global fund offerings
  • Supplements presence in Canadian Neutral Balanced category
  • More choices for investors in Corporate Class line-up

TORONTO, May 26, 2011 /CNW/ - Manulife Mutual Funds expanded its global-oriented funds with the launch this week of two new emerging markets trust funds and an emerging markets corporate class. In addition, Manulife Mutual Funds has added a new choice for Canadian Balanced investors, as well as several corporate class and trust fund structures, to the product line.

"At Manulife Mutual Funds we are very pleased to offer expanded investment choices for advisors and their clients with three new funds focusing on emerging market economies, as those continue to be key engines for global growth," said Paul Lorentz, President of Manulife Investments. "The depth and breadth of our new fund launches across multiple asset classes help to further position Manulife Mutual Funds as a premier provider of investment solutions."

"The quality and volume of our new product launches sends a strong message to financial advisors and their clients of momentum at Manulife Mutual Funds," said Jeff Ray, Assistant Vice President, Mutual Funds & Structured Products. "We are constantly working to provide more ways for advisors to deliver strong performance to clients through new trust funds and corporate classes."

The new funds include:

  • The Manulife Emerging Markets Debt Fund is designed to take advantage of the yield opportunities that exist in emerging markets. Portfolio management is led by John F. Iles, Senior Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, Dan Janis, Senior Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager, Manulife Asset Management (US) LLC and Yu-Ming Wang, Head of Fixed Income, (Asia), Manulife Asset Management (Hong Kong) Limited..
  • The Manulife Emerging Markets Balanced Fund is designed to provide exposure to emerging markets debt and equity in one investment option. A fund-on-fund structure divided between the existing Manulife Emerging Markets Fund* and the new Manulife Emerging Markets Debt Fund, it is managed by Christopher Arbuthnot, Senior Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager, and Amine Benali, Director and Portfolio Manager, for the equity portion, with John Iles managing the fixed income assets. All three managers are with Manulife Asset Management (US) LLC.
  • The Manulife Emerging Markets Equity Class allows investors to gain exposure to leading companies within emerging markets. The class is managed by Christopher Arbuthnot and Amine Benali.

In addition, Manulife Mutual Funds has added a new mandate available as either a trust or corporate class for investors looking to benefit from the strength of the Canadian economy without giving up on opportunities that reside in the global marketplace. The Manulife Canadian Opportunities Balanced Fund/Class provides investors with a relatively unconstrained approach to the Canadian equity markets, coupled with a diverse basket of government, corporate investment grade, and high yield bonds. The Fund takes a fund-on-fund approach, gaining equity exposure through the Manulife Canadian Opportunities Fund, and fixed income exposure through fixed income funds such as the Manulife Bond Fund, Manulife Short Term Bond Fund, and the Manulife Corporate Bond Fund, or a combination thereof.

For investors interested in the additional tax efficiency offered by corporate classes, Manulife has added three new offerings, which are built on existing fund mandates:

  • Manulife Floating Rate Income Class, which offers the potential to take advantage of a rising interest rate environment as well as tax-efficient distributions.
  • Manulife Global Opportunities Balanced Class, a "go-anywhere" global balanced fund that utilizes the investment strategies of the Manulife Global Opportunities Fund and the Manulife Strategic Income Fund.
  • Manulife Dividend Class, which offers diversification and different stock and sector exposure to dividend-paying Canadian common and preferred securities.

Manulife Mutual Funds is also introducing its Manulife Leaders Portfolios to the corporate classes, in order to give investors access to tactical asset allocation with tax efficiency.

  • Manulife Leaders Balanced Growth Class offers active management of the portfolio's allocation to ensure it is well-positioned throughout a market cycle.
  • Manulife Leaders Balanced Income Class is a tactically managed portfolio that provides a steady stream of income with a secondary objective of capital preservation.
  • Manulife Leaders Opportunities Class is a tactically managed portfolio offering diversification that includes exposure to asset classes such as real estate and global infrastructure.

As previously announced and subject to regulatory approval, Manulife is launching Series T and/or Series IT in the corporate class structure across a wide range of equity, fixed income and balanced funds, as well as in the new Manulife Leaders Portfolios in corporate classes, allowing investors to realize the tax advantages offered by corporate classes, combined with tax-advantaged monthly income.

*To be renamed Manulife Emerging Markets Equity Fund on or about May 30, 2011 and to be sub-advised by Manulife Asset Management (US) LLC beginning on or about June 3, 2011.

About Manulife Mutual Funds
Manulife Mutual Funds, a division of Manulife Asset Management Limited, builds on more than 120 years of Manulife Financial's wealth and investment management expertise in managing approximately $17.8 billion as at March 31, 2011 for Canadian investors, through a diverse portfolio of forward-thinking mutual fund products.  Our experienced Portfolio Managers offer access to markets in Canada, the United States and around the world, in a range of investment styles to help meet individual needs.  Manulife Mutual Funds is part of Manulife Investments, which offers personal wealth management products and services, such as mutual funds, segregated funds, annuities and guaranteed investment contracts.  For more information, please visit manulifemutualfunds.ca

About Manulife Asset Management Limited
Manulife Asset Management™ is the global asset management arm of Manulife Financial. Manulife Asset Management and its affiliates provide comprehensive asset management solutions for institutional investors and investment funds in key markets around the world. This investment expertise extends across a broad range of asset classes including equity, fixed income and alternative investments such as real estate, timber, farmland, as well as asset allocation strategies. Manulife Asset Management has offices with full investment capabilities in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines. In addition, it has a joint venture asset management business in China, Manulife TEDA. It also has operations in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Uruguay. As at March 31, 2011, assets under management for institutional clients were Cdn$211 billion (US$217 billion). Additional information about Manulife Asset Management can be found at ManulifeAM.com. Prior to December 15, 2010, Manulife Asset Management was known as MFC Global Investment Management.

About Manulife Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group operating in 22 countries and territories worldwide. For more than 120 years, clients worldwide have looked to Manulife for strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions.  Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients around the world. We provide asset management services to institutional customers worldwide as well as reinsurance solutions, specializing in life and property and casualty retrocession. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were $478 billion (US$492 billion) as at March 31, 2011. The Company operates as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK.  Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at www.manulife.com

SOURCE Manulife Financial

For further information:

Media contact: 
Beth McGoldrick
Manulife Mutual Funds
1-617-663-4751
bmcgoldrick@jhancock.com

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