Manulife Board of Directors Announces Common Share Dividend Reduction Effective September 2009

    Retains Additional Earnings to Further Strengthen Capital

    TORONTO, Aug. 6 /CNW/ - The Board of Directors of Manulife Financial
Corporation ("MFC") today announced its decision to reduce the Company's
quarterly common share dividend by 50% from $0.26 to $0.13 per share, payable
on and after September 21, 2009 to shareholders of record at the close of
business on August 18, 2009. The revised dividend will preserve approximately
$800 million for MFC on an annualized basis as part of the Company's strategic
focus on building fortress levels of capital.
    Donald A. Guloien, President and Chief Executive Officer said, "While our
financial results are strong and our capital ratios at the quarter's end are
at satisfactory levels, our capital planning must anticipate more conservative
economic scenarios than we are currently experiencing and provide more
flexibility to respond to both risks and opportunities from a continued
position of strength. We therefore remain focused on achieving fortress levels
of capital in all of our operating businesses, as well as at the consolidated
    He added, "While we recognize the importance of the cash dividend to many
of our common shareholders, we believe that retaining more of our earnings is
the most effective means of building capital while still providing an
attractive yield for our shareholders who will benefit as we deploy our
capital for growth. We believe that companies that build fortress levels of
capital will benefit their policyholders and shareholders and be recognized
favourably by regulators and ratings agencies."
    The Board also declared dividends on the following non-cumulative
preferred shares, payable on or after September 19, 2009 to shareholders of
record at the close of business on August 18, 2009.

    -   Class A Shares Series 1 - $0.25625 per share
    -   Class A Shares Series 2 - $0.29063 per share
    -   Class A Shares Series 3 - $0.28125 per share
    -   Class A Shares Series 4 - $0.4837 per share
    -   Class 1 Shares Series 1 - $0.41425 per share

    Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

    This document contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of
the "safe harbour" provisions of Canadian provincial securities laws and the
U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking
statements relate to, among other things, our objectives, goals, strategies,
intentions, plans, beliefs, expectations and estimates, and can generally be
identified by the use of words such as "may", "will", "could", "should",
"would", "likely", "suspect", "outlook", "expect", "intend", "estimate",
"anticipate", "believe", "plan", "forecast", "objective", "continue",
"embark:" and "endeavour" (or the negative thereof) and words and expressions
of similar import, and include statements concerning possible or assumed
future results. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in such
forward-looking statements are reasonable, such statements involve risks and
uncertainties, and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements and
they should not be interpreted as confirming market or analysts' expectations
in any way. Certain material factors or assumptions are applied in making
forward-looking statements, and actual results may differ materially from
those expressed or implied in such statements. Important factors that could
cause actual results to differ materially from expectations include but are
not limited to: general business and economic conditions (including but not
limited to performance of equity markets, interest rate fluctuations, currency
rates, investment losses and defaults, movements in credit spreads, market
liquidity and creditworthiness of guarantors and counterparties); Company
liquidity, including the availability of financing to satisfy existing
financial liabilities on their expected maturity dates when required; level of
competition and consolidation; changes in laws and regulations; accuracy of
information received from counterparties and the ability of counterparties to
meet their obligations; accuracy of estimates used in applying accounting
policies and actuarial methods used by the Company; the ability to maintain
the Company's reputation; the ability to implement effective hedging
strategies; legal and regulatory proceedings; the ability to adapt products
and services to the changing market; the ability to attract and retain key
executives; acquisitions and the ability to complete acquisitions including
the availability of equity and debt financing for this purpose; the ability to
execute strategic plans and changes to strategic plans; the disruption of or
changes to key elements of the Company's or public infrastructure systems; and
environmental concerns. Additional information about material factors that
could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations and about
material factors or assumptions applied in making forward-looking statements
may be found in the body of this document as well as under "Risk Factors" in
our most recent Annual Information Form, under "Risk Management" and "Critical
Accounting and Actuarial Policies" in the Management's Discussion and Analysis
in our most recent annual and interim reports, in the "Risk Management" note
to consolidated financial statements in our most recent annual and interim
reports and elsewhere in our filings with Canadian and U.S. securities
regulators. We do not undertake to update any forward-looking statements
except as required by law.

    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$421 billion
(US$362 billion) as at June 30, 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

For further information:

For further information: Media inquiries: David Paterson, (415)
852-8899,; Laurie Lupton, (416) 852-7792,; Investor Relations: Amir Gorgi, 1-800-795-9767,

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