Manulife Financial Corporation Ratings Unchanged by Standard & Poor's



    
    'AAA' Financial Strength Ratings unchanged for subsidiaries including:
    The Manufacturers Life Insurance Co., John Hancock Life Insurance Co.,
    Manulife (International) Limited and Manulife Life Insurance Company
    

    TSX/NYSE/PSE: MFC; SEHK: 0945

    TORONTO, Oct. 16 /CNW/ - Manulife Financial Corporation today announced
that its Standard & Poor's credit ratings are unchanged, according to the
bulletin titled "Manulife Financial Corp. Ratings Unchanged After Highlights
On Third-Quarter Results," which was published by Standard & Poor's on October
14, 2008. The published bulletin states "Standard & Poor's believes that
Manulife will continue to exhibit the ability to effectively navigate through
these difficult times, given its excellent risk management practices and
capacity to issue hybrids or achieve capital relief through reinsurance or
re-arranging its balance sheet if it needs to further reinforce its capital
position."
    Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that Manulife's "...financial
highlights of its third-quarter 2008 results would not affect the ratings or
outlook on Manulife or the 'AAA' financial strength rating and stable outlook
on any of its rated insurance subsidiaries."
    "Manulife's conservative and prudent risk and business management will
help us navigate this turbulent environment," said Dominic D'Alessandro,
President and Chief Executive Officer. "We hope that this announcement, along
with information we have recently released, will help reassure our clients,
shareholders and partners. While not immune to the global economy, Manulife
has the financial strength and liquidity to successfully weather these markets
and leverage opportunities that unsettled times bring."

    
    About Manulife Financial
    ------------------------
    

    Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group
serving millions of customers in 19 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$400 billion
(US$393 billion) as at June 30, 2008.
    Manulife Financial is one of two publicly traded life insurance companies
in the world whose rated life insurance subsidiaries hold Standard & Poor's
Rating Services' highest "AAA" rating.
    Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE,
and under '0945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet
at www.manulife.com.





For further information:

For further information: Media inquiries: Laurie Lupton, (416) 852-7792,
Laurie_Lupton@manulife.com; Investor Relations: Amir Gorgi, 1-800-795-9767,
investor_relations@manulife.com


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