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2009 Communiqués de presse

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21 septembre 2009

MFC Global Investment Management (Asia) launches new Asia Total Return Fund

Hong Kong - MFC Global Investment Management (Asia) today announces the launch of the Manulife Global Fund - Asia Total Return Fund.

The fund invests in the Asian bond markets, achieving returns via government, corporate bonds and currencies. The fund aims to maximize total returns from a combination of capital appreciation and income generation and will be available to institutional investors in Hong Kong in September.

Managed by Victoria Ip-Cheung and Endre Pedersen, the Asia Total Return Fund seeks to maximize total returns through a combination of active asset allocation calls, rigorous credit analysis and issue selection. The team combines these factors to generate returns by seeking value and opportunities across different segments of the region’s markets – via both domestic and offshore bond markets.

Victoria Ip-Cheung, head of regional fixed income at MFC Global Investment Management explains: “Asian Bonds have offered favorable long term risk/return characteristics historically1 and we expect that to continue. In our view, the Asian bond markets are set to continue their expansion and the current economic environment offers more investment opportunities in new bond issuances. We believe that the long-term Asia growth story is very much intact and this structurally lowers the credit risk premium. The flexible structure of this fund will help us to take full advantage of opportunities that present themselves, through alpha generators such as interest rates, credit and currencies. ”

She continues: “We expect the recent uptrend in almost all of Asia’s fixed income markets to be followed by a sustained period of stabilization in market prices. This is particularly interesting as we expect to find more differentiation amongst Asian countries and instruments going forward. The in-depth local market analysis from our award-winningteam of 25fixed income professionals in 9 locations in Asia means we are ideally positioned to take advantage of the opportunities this presents.”

MFC Global Investment Management has significant experience in managing Asian bond funds. Together, the two fund managers have over thirty years fixed income management experience between them, also drawing on the expertise of MFC Global Investment Management’s fixed income teams on-the-ground in Asia. The fund’s investment process is backed by MFC Global Investment Management’s rigorous risk management framework.

Avere Hill, head of institutional sales at MFC Global Investment Management says: “Many institutional investors are looking for ways to rebuild capital in a conservative manner. We believe that the attractive long term risk/return characteristics of Asian bonds, their historically low correlations with other asset classes, coupled with the flexible structure and investment expertise behind this fund will make it a valuable addition to many institutional portfolios.”

Victoria Ip-Cheung believes that there are some important fundamentals underpinning the Asia fixed income market. She explains: “The region has a deep war chest of foreign exchange reserves which can help it withstand market shocks such as those we have seen recently. Many Asian countries are running a current account surplus and we are seeing increasing instances of companies buying back debt with cash. We believe all these factors make a compelling case for creating a total return Asian bond fund.”

Representing over 100 years of Asia asset management experience, MFC Global Investment Management has developed a strong presence across the region. This thorough knowledge of the region together with market leadership in the industry earned MFC GIM the regional Best of the Best Award 2008 for Leadership in Fund Management from Asia Asset Management. Eight of MFC Global Investment Management’s fixed income fund managers in Asia were named among the ‘Most Astute Investors in Local Currency Bonds 2008 in The Asset’s Benchmark Research.

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Notes to editors:
Neither the return of capital invested nor the amount of return is guaranteed.
1The composite benchmark has returned an average annualized return of more 7.5% per cent per annum with annualized volatility of 4.9% from the end of 1997 until May 2009. Index is a composite of the Hong Kong Asia USD Bond Index and the Asian Local Market Index +(ELMI Asia+)Data from 12/31/97 – 05/29/09. (Source: Bloomberg, JP Morgan, HSBC and MFC GIM Asia)

Clients should seek professional advice for their particular situation. Neither Manulife Financial, MFC Global Investment Management, nor any of its affiliates or representatives is providing tax, investment or legal advice. This material was prepared solely for informational purposes and does not constitute an offer or an invitation by or on behalf of MFC GIM to any person.

About MFC Global Investment Management
MFC Global Investment Management® is the asset management division of Manulife Financial. MFC Global Investment Management’s diversified group of companies provides comprehensive asset management solutions for institutional investors, investment funds and individuals in key markets around the world. This investment expertise extends across a full range of asset classes including equity, fixed income and alternative investments such as oil and gas, real estate, timber, farmland, as well as asset allocation strategies.

MFC Global Investment Management has investment offices in Canada, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States and Vietnam. With more than 300 investment professionals, including 80 in Asia alone, MFC Global Investment Management offers worldwide expertise combined with local, on-the-ground knowledge and backed by a strong risk management framework. Additional information about MFC Global Investment Management may be found at www.mfcglobal.com.

MFC Global Investment Management®, Manulife and the block design are trademarks of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and are used by it and its affiliates including Manulife Financial Corporation. MFC Global Investment Management (Asia) is a division of Manulife Asset Management (Hong Kong) Limited.


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Media Contact:
Catherine Battershill
MFC Global Investment Management
(+44) 207 256 3507
catherine_battershill@mfcglobal.com