Manulife Mutual Funds Receives Approval for Proposed Investment Objective Changes and Fund Mergers

TSX/NYSE/PSE: MFC
SEHK:945 

TORONTO, Sept. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - Manulife Mutual Funds, a division of Manulife Asset Management Limited, announced receipt today of the required approvals from securityholders to proceed with the previously announced proposed fund mergers and investment objective changes. It is currently anticipated that the mergers will be implemented at the close of business on or about either October 5, 2012 or November 23, 2012, as detailed further below.

"These fund mergers are the result of our regular reviews of our fund lineup, which we initiate to ensure we're providing investment opportunities that align with the current and anticipated needs of investors," said Jeff Ray, Assistant Vice President, Manulife Mutual Funds and Structured Products. "We expect these mergers will, over time, lower the cost of fund administration for investors by spreading operating costs and expenses across a greater pool of assets."

The proposed mergers and investment objective changes were originally announced on May 29, 2012, following the approval or recommendation of the Independent Review Committee of Manulife Mutual Funds.

Investment Objective Changes

Manulife Mutual Funds has received all required approvals from securityholders to proceed with implementing the proposed changes in the investment objectives of each of Manulife Dividend Class, Manulife Dividend Fund and Manulife Structured Bond Class. It is expected that the proposed changes will be implemented on or about October 5, 2012 for Manulife Dividend Class, on or about November 23, 2012 for Manulife Dividend Fund and on or about September 24, 2012 for Manulife Structured Bond Class.

As the change to the investment objective of each of Manulife Dividend Fund and Manulife Dividend Class was approved, the Funds will be renamed as previously announced to "Manulife Canadian Stock Fund" and "Manulife Canadian Stock Class", respectively, on the effective date of each Fund's merger. Although the change to the investment objective of Manulife Structured Bond Class was approved and will be implemented, Manulife Mutual Funds has decided to not rename the Fund to "Manulife Bond Class", as previously announced, on the effective date of its merger.

Fund Mergers

For the trust fund and corporate class mergers listed below, Manulife Mutual Funds has received all required approvals from securityholders to proceed with implementing the mergers on or about October 5, 2012 and November 23, 2012, respectively.

Terminating Fund Continuing Fund Approval status Effective date
Manulife Global Advantage
Fund
Manulife International Dividend
Income Fund (to be renamed
Manulife International Focused
Fund on or about October 5, 2012)
Approved October 5,
2012
Manulife American
Advantage Fund
Manulife U.S. All Cap Equity Fund Approved October 5,
2012
Manulife European
Opportunities Fund
Manulife International Value Equity
Fund
Approved October 5,
2012
Manulife Canadian Value
Class
Manulife Dividend Class Approved October 5,
2012
Manulife Canadian Large Cap
Value Class
Manulife Dividend Class Approved October 5,
2012
Manulife Advantage II Class Manulife Canadian Focused Class Approved October 5,
2012
Manulife International Value
Class
Manulife International Value Equity
Class
Approved October 5,
2012
Manulife Canadian Core
Class
Manulife Canadian Opportunities
Class
Approved October 5,
2012
Manulife Canadian Equity
Class
Manulife Canadian Opportunities
Class
Approved October 5,
2012
Manulife Total Yield Class Manulife Structured Bond Class Approved October 5,
2012
Manulife Canadian Value
Fund
Manulife Dividend Fund Approved November 23,
2012
Manulife Advantage Fund Manulife Canadian Focused Fund Approved November 23,
2012
Manulife Advantage Fund II Manulife Canadian Focused Fund Approved November 23,
2012
Manulife Sector Rotation
Fund
Manulife Canadian Opportunities
Fund
Approved November 23,
2012
Manulife Canadian Equity
Fund
Manulife Canadian Opportunities
Fund
Approved November 23,
2012
Manulife Canadian Core
Fund
Manulife Canadian Opportunities
Fund
Approved November 23,
2012
Manulife Simplicity
Aggressive Portfolio
Manulife Simplicity Growth
Portfolio
Approved November 23,
2012

Notwithstanding the receipt of the requisite securityholder approval, the mergers of Manulife Global Advantage Fund, Manulife Sector Rotation Fund, Manulife European Opportunities Fund, Manulife Canadian Core Fund, Manulife Canadian Equity Fund, Manulife Simplicity Aggressive Portfolio, Manulife Canadian Core Class, and Manulife Canadian Equity Class require the approval of the Canadian securities regulators before such mergers may be effected. Although no assurance can be provided, Manulife Mutual Funds expects that such approvals will be received.

Merger Process
In connection with the implementation of the mergers, each terminating fund will cease distribution of new securities (except purchases under existing pre-authorized chequing plans and dollar cost averaging plans) as of the close of business on October 2, 2012 (for the October mergers) or November 20, 2012 (for the November mergers). Securityholders will have the right to redeem the securities of each terminating fund up to the close of business on the effective date of the applicable merger. Following the mergers, pre-authorized chequing plans, systematic withdrawal plans and dollar cost averaging plans, which had been established with respect to a terminating fund will be re-established with respect to the continuing fund unless securityholders advise otherwise. Each terminating fund will be wound up or formally terminated as soon as possible after completion of its merger.

About Manulife Mutual Funds
Manulife Mutual Funds, a division of Manulife Asset Management Limited, builds on 125 years of Manulife Financial's wealth and investment management expertise in managing approximately C$18.7 billion as at June 30, 2012 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 fund contracts, annuities and guaranteed interest contracts. For more information, please visit manulifemutualfunds.ca.

About Manulife Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. In 2012, we celebrate 125 years of providing clients 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 also provide asset management services to institutional customers. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$514 billion (US$504 billion) as at June 30, 2012. 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 manulife.com.

 

SOURCE: Manulife Financial Corporation

For further information:

Media contacts:
Tracy Van Kalsbeek
Public Relations Consultant
Manulife Financial Canadian Division
519-594-4697
tracy_vankalsbeek@manulife.com


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