Manulife Financial Completes Purchase of Manulife TEDA Fund Management Joint
Venture in China

TORONTO, March 31 /CNW/ - Manulife Financial announced that it has closed the transaction to purchase Fortis Bank SA/NV's(1) 49 per cent ownership in ABN AMRO TEDA Fund Management Co. Ltd. The new joint venture, Manulife TEDA Fund Management Company Ltd. (Manulife TEDA), provides traditional retail and institutional asset management for clients across the Chinese market. Manulife TEDA is 51 per cent owned by Northern International Trust, part of Tianjin TEDA Investment Holding Co., Ltd. (TEDA). The transaction has received all necessary regulatory approvals.

2009 Assets Under Management

As one of the largest foreign-invested asset management companies in China, Manulife TEDA's assets under management growth outpaced the industry in 2009 with a 45 per cent increase (in constant currency). With an award-winning management team, more than 40 investment professionals and extensive experience in China's asset management market, Manulife TEDA's assets under management were US$4.4 billion (RMB 30 billion) as at December 31, 2009. 2

Manulife Financial President and CEO Donald Guloien said, "The completion of our new Manulife TEDA joint venture transaction represents another important step forward for our growth plans in China and the Asia region. The substantial increase in assets under management in 2009 underscores the potential of this market. We are excited to be able to offer a combination of insurance, wealth and asset management capabilities in this important region."

"As Manulife has a long history of working successfully with its business partners and the regulators in China, we have great optimism for the success of this venture", stated Mr. Liu Huiwen, President of TEDA.

Expands Manulife's footprint in China

Manulife TEDA plans to maintain and grow its existing platform of high quality asset management products, and also plans to seek regulatory approval for expanding its lines of business as and when permitted by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) and other relevant bodies.

Marc Sterling, Executive Vice President, Asia Regional Operations, Manulife Financial added, "We are very pleased at how smoothly this transaction has proceeded and deeply appreciate the strong support from our regulators. With the closing of the transaction, Manulife is now one of the few companies with asset management companies in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong and is well-positioned to benefit from growing investor interest in the greater China region." Manulife continues to build upon its broad range of wealth management and pension solutions to serve its large, growing international customer base.

Expands and deepens MFC Global Investment Management franchise in Asia

MFC Global Investment Management President and CEO J-F Courville said, "This deal gives our global clients access to the investment expertise of a respected team of portfolio managers at the heart of China's fixed income and equity markets. This, combined with the Greater China know-how of our Hong Kong and Taiwan-based professionals, makes us a compelling partner for institutional investors and Manulife's retail clients wanting to tap into this important market."

Manulife Financial now has asset management companies in 9 of 10 of its operating territories across its Asia Division and is strategically positioned to serve both the wealth management and protection needs of consumers in Asia. With the completion of this transaction, the pro forma assets MFC Global Investment Management manages for external investor clients were US$110 billion as of December 31, 2009.

    
    1.  Now operating under the BNP Paribas Fortis brand.
    2.  Currency conversion as at December 31, 2009.
    

About Manulife-Sinochem Limited

Operating in 41 cities in 11 provinces, Manulife-Sinochem Limited (MSL) has more than 11,000 agents serving over 500,000 customers across China. In China, MSL was established in 1996 and was the first joint venture life insurance company in China. Manulife Financial has extensive operations and more than 100 years experience in Asia.

About MFC Global Investment Management

MFC Global Investment Management(R) is the asset management division of Manulife Financial. MFC Global Investment Management's diversified group of companies provides comprehensive asset management solutions for institutional investors, investment funds and individuals in key markets around the world. This investment expertise extends across a full range of asset classes including equity, fixed income and alternative investments such as oil and gas, real estate, timber, farmland, as well as asset allocation strategies.

MFC Global Investment Management has investment offices in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Hong Kong, and throughout Asia. Additional information about MFC Global Investment Management may be found at www.mfcglobal.com.

About Tianjin TEDA Investment Holding Company Ltd.

Tianjin TEDA Investment Holding Co., Ltd. (TEDA) is mainly engaged in resource development and asset integration. As one of the most influential investment holding companies in China, TEDA has established its reputation through diversified operations in industries such as finance, infrastructure, public utilities, real estate, manufacturing, environmental protection, and hotels. With China's focus on developing a sustainable, growing economy, TEDA is committed to being a respected investment holding company serving society by its successful growth. TEDA, a large company owned by Tianjin City, had total assets of US$18.2 billion (RMB 124.5 billion) as at December 31, 2008.

About Manulife Financial

Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 22 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily through John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$440 billion (US$420 billion) as at December 31, 2009.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 Corporation

For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: Investor Relations: David Paterson, Manulife Financial, (416) 852-8899, david_paterson@manulife.com; Laurie Lupton, Manulife Financial, (416) 852-7792, laurie_lupton@manulife.com; Amir Gorgi, Manulife Financial, (416) 852-8311, amir_gorgi@manulife.com


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