Manulife Financial Corporation announces increase to Preferred Share issue

    TORONTO, Feb. 25 /CNW/ - Manulife Financial Corporation ("Manulife")
today announced that as a result of strong investor demand for its previously
announced Canadian public offering of Non-cumulative 5-Year Rate Reset Class A
Preferred Shares, Series 4 ("Series 4 Preferred Shares"), the size of the
offering has been increased to 14 million shares. The gross proceeds of the
offering will now be $350 million. The offering will be underwritten by a
syndicate of investment dealers led by RBC Capital Markets and CIBC World
Markets and is anticipated to qualify as Tier 1 capital for Manulife. The
expected closing date for the offering is March 4, 2009.
    Manulife has also granted the underwriters an option, exercisable in
whole or in part at any time up to 48 hours prior to closing, to purchase up
to an additional four million Series 4 Preferred Shares. The maximum gross
proceeds raised under the offering will be $450 million should this option be
exercised in full. Manulife intends to file a prospectus supplement to its
March 12, 2007 base shelf prospectus in respect of this issue.
    The net proceeds of the offering will be used primarily for general
corporate purposes and the balance will be used to reduce the amount
outstanding under Manulife's credit facility with Canadian banks.
    The Series 4 Preferred Shares and Series 5 Preferred Shares have not been
and will not be registered in the United States under the Securities Act of
1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent
registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements.
This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation to
buy securities in the United States and any public offering of the securities
in the United States must be made by means of a prospectus.

    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$405 billion
(US$330 billion) as at December 31, 2008.
    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: Laurie Lupton, (416) 852-7792,; Investor Relations: Amir Gorgi, 1-800-795-9767,

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