Three Manulife Investments mutual funds achieve 5-Star Morningstar Ratings

Places them in the top 10 per cent of funds

TSX/NYSE/PSE: MFC SEHK:945

TORONTO, April 21, 2015 /CNW/ - Manulife Investments, a division of Manulife Asset Management Limited, today announced that three of its mutual funds, Manulife Dividend Income Fund, Manulife Dividend Income Class and Manulife Strategic Balanced Yield Fund have attained the 5-Star Morningstar Rating.

"Since these funds were launched in 2012, they have delivered outstanding risk-adjusted performance. After recently celebrating their three year anniversary, they were awarded Morningstar's highest star rating," said Derek Saliba, Assistant Vice President, Manulife Investments. "The 5-Star Rating is one of the highest ratings in the industry and is a testament to the strength of their management teams and how they've delivered for investors."

The 5-Star Morningstar Rating indicates that these funds were ranked top decile in their respective categories for risk-adjusted returns over a three year period. The following table illustrates the funds' strong performance over all time periods, low volatility as measured by standard deviation, and risk-adjusted returns measured by the Sharpe Ratio (annualized excess return over the risk-free rate divided by its annualized volatility) and Sortino Ratio (annualized excess return over the risk-free rate divided by its annualized downside volatility):

  Since inception return (%)* 1 year return (%) % Rank in category # of funds in  category 3 year return (%)* % Rank in category # of funds in category Standard Deviation (%)* Sharpe Ratio Sortino Ratio
Manulife Dividend Income Fund 17.25 17.31 4 476 17.52 2 332 5.69 2.72 6.93
Manulife Dividend Income Class 16.57 16.95 5 476 16.84 3 332 5.60 2.65 6.57
Manulife Strategic Balanced Yield
Fund
14.83 14.62 15 926 15.01 6 616 5.64 2.35 4.71

*Annualized
Since inception date: March 22, 2012.
Source: Morningstar, as at March 31, 2015.
Performance histories are not indicative of future performance.

Manulife Dividend Income Fund and Manulife Dividend Income Class invest primarily in attractively priced Canadian dividend-paying equities with added diversification through some exposure to large multinational firms in the U.S. The combination of an attractive dividend yield, potential tax efficiency and the long-term growth potential helps make these strategies appealing to investors. The mutual funds' managers, Alan Wicks, Jonathan Popper and Conrad Dabiet of Manulife Asset Management (MAM), utilize a fundamental, bottom-up value based process that provides the potential for downside protection by focusing on companies that may produce predictable cash flows, have very low financial leverage and that have control over their input costs.

Manulife Strategic Balanced Yield Fund offers exposure to a diversified portfolio consisting primarily of U.S. dividend-paying equities and global multi-sector bonds. The fund provides a monthly distribution and utilizes a detailed 7-step research process to seek out both value and growth companies that may compound cash flows and grow earnings, with the aim of achieving dividend growth and a yield premium over the benchmark index. The fund is managed by two experienced teams, on the equity side, Sandy Sanders, Walter McCormick and Michael Mattioli of Manulife Asset Management US (LLC) and on the fixed income side, Daniel Janis, Thomas Goggins and Dennis McCafferty, also of Manulife Asset Management US (LLC).

The Morningstar Rating is a quantitative assessment of a fund's past performance, both return and risk, as measured from one to five stars. It rewards consistent performance and reduces the possibility of strong short-term performance masking the inherent risk of a fund.  For more information, see www.morningstar.ca

For more information, please visit http://www.manulifemutualfunds.ca/fund-celebration-april/

English: 1-888-588-7999
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The Morningstar Rating, commonly referred to as the Star Rating, relates how a fund has performed on a risk-adjusted basis against its Morningstar category peers and is subject to change every month. Funds are ranked by their Morningstar Risk-Adjusted Return scores with the top 10 per cent receiving 5 stars. The Star Ratings as of March 31, 2015 for the Funds shown and the number of funds within their categories for each period are: Manulife Dividend Income Fund within the Canadian Dividend and Income Equity category: 1 year period, 476 funds, 5 stars and 3 year period, 332 funds, 5 stars and Manulife Dividend Income Class within the Canadian Dividend and Income Equity category: 1 year period, 476 funds, 5 stars and 3 year period, 332 funds, 5 stars and Manulife Strategic Balanced Yield Fund within the Global Neutral Balanced category: 1 year period, 926 funds, 5 stars and 3 year period, 616 funds, 5 stars. © 2015 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The information contained herein: (1) is proprietary to Morningstar; (2) may not be copied or distributed; and (3) is not warranted to be accurate, complete or timely. Neither Morningstar nor its content providers are responsible for any damages or losses arising from any use of this information. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing.  The indicated rates of return are the historical annual compounded total returns including changes in unit value and reinvestment of all distributions and do not take into account sales, redemption, distribution or optional charges or income taxes payable by any securityholder that would have reduced returns.  Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. The payment of distributions is not guaranteed and may fluctuate. If distributions paid by the fund are greater than the performance of the fund, then your original investment will shrink. Distributions should not be confused with a fund's performance, rate of return, or yield. You may also receive return of capital distributions from a fund.  Please consult with your tax advisor regarding the tax implications of receiving distributions. See the prospectus for more information on a fund's distributions policy.

About Manulife Investments
Manulife Investments, a division of Manulife Asset Management Limited, builds on 125 years of Manulife's wealth and investment management expertise in managing assets for Canadian investors. As one of Canada's leading integrated financial services providers, Manulife Investments offers a variety of products and services including segregated fund contracts, mutual funds, annuities and guaranteed interest contracts.

About Manulife Asset Management
Manulife Asset Management is the global asset management arm of Manulife, providing 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 public and private asset classes, as well as asset allocation solutions. As at December 31, 2014, assets under management for Manulife Asset Management were approximately C$321 billion (US$277 billion).

Additional information about Manulife Asset Management may be found at ManulifeAM.com.

About Manulife
Manulife is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. We operate as John Hancock in the U.S. and as Manulife in other parts of the world. We provide strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for our customers' 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. Assets under management by Manulife and its subsidiaries were approximately C$691 billion (US$596 billion) as at December 31, 2014.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife can be found on the Internet at manulife.com

SOURCE Manulife Financial Corporation

For further information:

Media contact:
Bev MacLean
Manulife
416-852-8501
Beverley_Maclean@manulife.com
@ManulifeNews


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