Manulife-Sinochem Celebrates 15th Anniversary with Support for the Shanghai School for Blind Children

TORONTO/SHANGHAI, Nov. 7, 2011 /CNW/ - Manulife-Sinochem Life Insurance Co. (MSL) announced today that it has made a donation to the Shanghai School for Blind Children in conjunction with its 15th anniversary celebrations.  The money will go towards the purchase of visual aids to facilitate learning and improve the lives of all students suffering from low visual capabilities at the school.

At a media conference held today to celebrate MSL's 15th Anniversary, Donald Guloien, President and Chief Executive Officer of Manulife Financial, remarked: "We are honoured to support the Shanghai School for Blind Children. Shanghai and China have a special place in Manulife Financial's history.  We sold our first policy in Asia in Shanghai, in 1897, and in 1996 we established the first life insurance joint venture in China with the Sinochem Group.  Today we mark MSL's 15th anniversary with this donation."  As a new member of the Mayor of Shanghai's International Business Leaders Advisory Council, Mr. Guloien also pledged to support Shanghai's transformation into an international financial centre.

The media conference was also attended by Yang Lin, Chief Financial Officer of Sinochem Group, Robert A. Cook, Senior Executive Vice-President and General Manager of Manulife Asia, and Marc Sterling, Manulife's Executive Vice-President and Chairman of MSL.

Mr. Liu Deshu, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sinochem Group attended related celebration activities. Mr. Liu attributed the company's success to the constructive and close partnership between the two shareholders.  "We look to the future with great confidence, and believe that the spirit of mutual cooperation will continue to build a strong future for MSL," he added.

Mr. Cook noted that "MSL now enjoys the broadest geographical footprint of any joint venture insurance company in China, with access to nearly half a billion customers.  It also has a robust agency distribution with around 15,000 agents, and a developing bancassurance channel through which long term protection products are distributed. From its headquarters in Shanghai, MSL has successfully extended its presence to the main wealth and population centres of China including Beijing, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Sichuan, Shandong, Fujian, Chongqing, Liaoning, Tianjin and Hubei."

Mr. Sterling added, "We are delighted to be joined by so many of the people who contributed to the development of MSL over the last 15 years here today to celebrate this important milestone with us.  Their presence reflects their enormous contribution and just how much they still mean to us in Manulife-Sinochem."

About the Shanghai School for Blind Children's Project

The Shanghai School for Blind Children is the only school in the city dedicated exclusively to the education of visually impaired children.  Today's donation will be used to purchase high-tech visual aids enabling partially-sighted children to study in an environment akin to that experienced by children with normal vision.

This latest charitable contribution follows the earlier donation of RMB 5 million from Manulife Financial and MSL to reconstruct six earthquake-damaged special schools for disabled children in Sichuan, the completion of which was announced in 2010, at the Canadian Pavilion at the Shanghai EXPO.

Since its inception, MSL has always strived to be a socially responsible corporate citizen.  It strongly believes in the positive impact charities can have on people's lives.  Over the past 15 years, the Company has been actively involved in more than 50 charitable projects including those relating to environmental protection, cancer research, youth education and the disabled.  MSL also organizes annual corporate social responsibility events that give employees, agents and customers the opportunity to help new charities.

"As China becomes more prosperous, we believe we have a responsibility to the community.  For MSL, our focus is on helping the physically impaired enjoy a better life.  This is consistent with our business, which is to look after our customers and families in their time of greatest needs," said Mr. Sterling.

About Manulife-Sinochem

Manulife Sinochem, which is headquartered in Shanghai, is the first foreign investment joint venture life insurance company in China.  Its shareholders are Canada's Manulife Financial, and China's Sinochem Corporation.  Manulife-Sinochem is a joint-venture company between Manulife (International) Limited and the China Foreign Economy and Trade Trust Company (a member of the Sinochem group). To date the Company has around 15,000 professionally trained agents and employees, providing financial and insurance services to more than 650,000 customers. The company is now developing in 49 cities in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Sichuan, Shandong, Fujian, Chongqing, Liaoning, Tianjin and Hubei. With more than ten years' successful experience, Manulife-Sinochem is committed to offering comprehensive insurance products combined with excellent customer service and professionalism.

Manulife-Sinochem can be found on the internet at www.manulife-sinochem.com.

About Manulife Financial

Manulife Financial is a leading Canada-based financial services group operating in 21 countries and territories worldwide. For more than 120 years, clients 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. We provide asset management services to institutional customers worldwide as well as reinsurance solutions, specializing in property and casualty retrocession. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$492billion (US$473 billion) as at September 30, 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.

About Sinochem

As one of the key state-owned enterprises under the supervision of SASAC (State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council), Sinochem Group has been featured in the "Fortune Global 500" list 20 times, and ranked 203 in 2010. Sinochem has five core business segments: agriculture, energy, chemical, real estate and finance. A leading chemical service provider, it is China's biggest integrated agricultural producer of fertilizer, pesticide and seed products, and the country's fourth largest oil company. Sinochem is also a major player in China's high-end commercial real estate market and non-banking financial sector. Sinochem has more than 200 branches and subsidiaries both in China and abroad, among which are several listed companies, namely Sinochem International (SSE, 600500), SinoFert (HKEX, 00297), Franshion Properties (HKEX, 00817). In June 2009, Sinochem made a major move to inject most of its assets into the shareholding entity Sinochem Corporation. More than 40,000 employees adhere to Sinochem's spirit of exploration and innovation, adopting the mindset of "Creating Value, Pursuing Excellence".

Sinochem can be found on the Internet at www.sinochem.com.

SOURCE Manulife Financial

For further information:

Media Contact:
Anthony Wilson-Smith
416-852-8899
anthony_wilson-smith@manulife.com


      Media Contact:
Laurie Lupton
416-852-7792
laurie_lupton@manulife.com

In China:
Margaret Wang
Manulife-Sinochem, Public Relations
Tel: (86) 21 5359 4770 - 8624
Fax: (86) 21 6362 0189
Margaret_wang@manulife-sinochem.com


      In Asia:
David Norris
Manulife Financial, Regional Communications
Tel: (852) 2202 1749
Fax: (852) 2510 5889
david_norris@manulife.com

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