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2007 News Releases

For Immediate Release

March 22, 2007

Elite Hong Kong athletes continue to benefit from Manulife Scholarship Program

Phase I funding aided triumphs at DOHA Asian Games
Phase II will prepare for best-ever Olympic performances in Beijing

Hong Kong— Manulife (International) Limited (MIL), the official Worldwide Life-Insurance Partner of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, and the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China (SF&OC, HK), have jointly announced the opening of applications for the second phase of the Manulife Hong Kong Sports Scholarship Program. The HK$2 million Sponsorship Program, with its first phase officially launched in June last year, aims to assist Hong Kong elite athletes to achieve the best possible preparation for potential medal-winning performances at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Under the first phase of the Program, 10 elite local athletes were selected to each receive a total subsidy of HK$100,000 from June 2006 to May 2007, towards the cost of their training, coaching, medical and scientific monitoring. With the help of the Program, four of the 10 awardees attained excellent results at the DOHA Asian Games held in December last year. These were: Ms Yip Pui Yin (silver medal in Women’s Badminton), Ms Chan Wai Kei (silver medal in Women’s Mistral), Ms Hannah Wilson (bronze medal in Women’s Swimming) and Mr. Leung Chu Yan (bronze medal in Men’s Table Tennis).

“We are thrilled by the results and the performances of our awardees, especially the ‘Mighty Four’, who brought great pride and honour to Hong Kong by winning medals at the DOHA Asian Games,” said Michael Huddart, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Hong Kong, Manulife (International) Limited. “So far, we have every confidence that the Program is working as it was planned to do and that our chosen athletes are benefiting hugely from it. We believe that it would not be over-ambitious to hope that as a result of this initiative, Hong Kong could achieve its best-ever Olympic medals tally in 2008.”

“The second phase of the Program is about to launch and we are glad that SF&OC continues to work closely with us in making this Program as successful and rewarding as it was intended to be,” he added. 

The second phase of the Program will be open for applications from March 23 to April 4, 2007. All eligible NSAs are invited to submit applications to the SF&OC’s Secretariat. Awardees under the first phase who achieved outstanding performances in international competition during the scholarship program period can also apply for renewal of the Scholarship under the second phase. Detailed information and application forms can be downloaded from the SF&OC’s official website at www.hkolympic.org.

All nominations will be assessed and evaluated by the Selection Committee, comprising Mr. F. K. Hu, GBS, JP, as Chairman, together with Mr. Ronnie M. C. Wong, JP and Prof. Leung Mee Lee as members. Results of the second-phase program are expected to be announced in May 2007.

About Manulife (International) Limited
Manulife (International) Limited is a member of the Manulife Financial group of companies. 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$414 billion (approximately HK$2,763.3 billion) as at December 31, 2006.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '0945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at www.manulife.com.

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For more information please contact:

Manulife (International) Limited
Helena Lee / Jeanie HoTel: (852) 2202 1050 / 2510 3191
Fax: (852) 2234 6875
Email: helena_lee@manulife.com

SF&OC of Hong Kong, China
Felen CHAN / Erica CHOI
Tel: (852) 2891 3106 / 2504 8561
Fax: (852) 2574 3399
Website: www.hkolympic.org