Class action against Société Générale in Portus matter

    TORONTO, March 8 /CNW/ - Manulife Securities International Ltd. ("MSIL")
announced today that it is proceeding with a proposed class action against
Société Générale, Société Générale (Canada), Lyxor Asset Management and
Société Générale Securities Inc. ("Société Générale"). This action concerns
the role played by Société Générale in relation to Portus Alternative Asset
Management Inc. ("Portus"). Portus has been the subject of receivership and
bankruptcy proceedings in the Ontario Superior Court since February 2005.
These proceedings were initially brought by the Ontario Securities Commission
in an effort to secure the remaining assets of Portus for the benefit of those
members of the public who invested in Portus ("Portus Investors"). KPMG Inc.,
the Trustee in Bankruptcy, anticipates that investors will not receive full
recovery of their investments in Portus through the bankruptcy proceedings.
    In the proposed class proceeding, various claims are made against Société
Générale on behalf of all Portus Investors as set out in the Statement of
Claim. In commencing and prosecuting this action, MSIL is continuing to
fulfill its commitment to pursue aggressively all available avenues to
maximize recovery for the benefit of all Portus Investors.
    This proceeding seeks damages from Société Générale based on the loss of
invested capital as well as losses resulting from Portus Investors' inability
to achieve a return on their investment due to the collapse of Portus. Any
award of damages in the proposed class proceeding will go to benefit all
Portus Investors. To the extent that the Estate of Portus makes distributions,
the damages claimed through the proposed class proceeding will be reduced but
not eliminated. Recovery of remaining damages will continue to be sought from
Société Générale.
    In mid-2005, MSIL acted quickly to repay all of its own clients who were
referred to Portus by MSIL. These clients were repaid 100% of the principal
they invested with Portus by MSIL.
    "From the outset, MSIL has committed to do the right thing for its
clients and to do what it can to assist all Portus Investors in minimizing
their losses from the unfortunate situation surrounding the collapse of
Portus. No one other than Portus Investors should profit. MSIL will not profit
from this action. To the extent that there is an ultimate net realization by
MSIL greater than the principal amount invested by its clients, MSIL will
credit its clients with this excess", said J-P. Bisnaire, Senior Executive
Vice President, Business Development and General Counsel of Manulife
    The action will be dealt with on the Commercial List of the Ontario
Superior Court in Toronto. The next steps include a preliminary motion and
ultimately a motion to certify the action as a class proceeding.

For further information:

For further information: J-P. Bisnaire, Senior Executive Vice President,
Business Development and General Counsel of Manulife Financial at (416)
852-7777 or at

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