For Immediate Release

October 17, 2011

Manulife Philippines launches Asia Pacific Bond Fund[1]

A fund managed by fixed-income experts based on the ground in 10 Asian markets

Makati City - Manulife Philippines has announced the launch of the Asia Pacific Bond Fund, a new US Dollar-denominated variable unit linked fund that generates returns through a mixture of Asian currencies, interest rates and bonds of primarily investment grade. 

The fund aims to maximize potential total returns over a medium-to-long term period through a combination of capital appreciation and income generation.  It invests in a diversified portfolio of mostly investment-grade, fixed-income securities issued by governments, agencies, supra-nationals and corporate issuers from across the Asia Pacific region.  

“With the Asia Pacific Bond Fund, our policyowners will now have the potential to generate higher earnings for their US Dollar assets through predominantly investment-grade fixed income securities.  The fund is designed such that earnings are derived from three components, specifically: currency, credit and interest,” said Indren Naidoo, President and Chief Executive Officer of Manulife Philippines. “The Asia Pacific Bond Fund is designed as a forward-thinking investment alternative for clients who maintain US Dollars in popular financial instruments such as time deposits, CASA (Current Account/Savings Account) and US Dollar-denominated bonds of local issuers,” Mr. Naidoo further added.

“Many people who have US Dollar investments are looking for opportunities to invest in higher quality bond funds,” said Mr. Naidoo. “The Asia Pacific Bond Fund is a good alternative investment outlet for investors given its predominantly investment grade credit quality. The fund aims to generate competitive returns not only from interest rates and credits but also through the potential appreciation of Asia currencies such as the Chinese Yuan.” Mr. Naidoo added.

The Asia Pacific Bond Fund is managed by Manulife Asset Management’s Asia fixed-income team and draws on expertise of more than 40 fixed income investment professionals based on the ground in 10 markets across Asia. This includes a team of 16 local credit research analysts. Explaining its significance, Endre Pedersen, Managing Director, Asia Fixed Income at Manulife Asset Management and the fund’s manager said, “As Asian debt financing increases, Manulife Asset Management uses its teams of on-the-ground fixed-income managers and credit research analysts to unearth opportunities in under-researched credit, currencies and interest rates across Asia. We make use of our extensive team of on-the-ground credit analysts across Asia to give every bond we purchase an internal rating. This in-depth credit research is a key edge for customers given that coverage of the local bond markets by rating agencies and brokerage firms is limited in certain markets in Asia.”

The Asia Pacific Bond Fund is available as one of the investment options under Manulife’s Affluence Max, which is a single-pay, variable life insurance product that seeks to give the policyowner the best possible return on both their investment and their built-in insurance protection coverage.  Affluence Max has a guaranteed insurability endorsement (GIE) feature that allows for applications without the need for medical examinations.[2]

To know more about the Asia Pacific Bond Fund, contact Manulife Philippines at (02) 884-7000 or e-mail phcustomercare@manulife.com or a Manulife financial adviser.

About Manulife Philippines
The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company opened its doors for business in the Philippines in 1907.  Since then, Manulife’s Philippine Branch and later The Manufacturers Life Insurance Co. (Phils.), Inc. (Manulife Philippines) has grown to become one of the leading life insurance companies in the country.  Manulife Philippines is a wholly-owned domestic subsidiary of Manulife Financial Corporation.

About Manulife Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group operating in 21 countries and territories worldwide. For more than 120 years, clients have looked to Manulife for strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients. We provide asset management services to institutional customers worldwide as well as reinsurance solutions, specializing in property and casualty retrocession. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$481billion (US$498 billion) as at June 30, 2011. The Company operates as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States.

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 at www.manulife.com.

About Manulife Asset Management 
Manulife Asset Management™ is the global asset management arm of Manulife Financial. Manulife Asset Management’s diversified group and its affiliates provide comprehensive asset management solutions for institutional investors and investment funds 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 real estate, timber, farmland, as well as asset allocation strategies.

Manulife Asset Management has offices with investment capabilities in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. In addition, it has a joint venture asset management business in China, Manulife TEDA. It also has operations in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Uruguay. As at June 30, 2011 total assets under management were US$ 217 billion. Additional information about Manulife Asset Management can be found at ManulifeAM.com.

Important Information
The Investment Funds ("Funds") mentioned in this document are specific to variable life insurance contracts and are not considered mutual funds.

This document was produced by and the opinions expressed are those of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Co. (Phils.), Inc. ("Manulife Philippines") as of the date of writing and are subject to change. The information and/or analysis contained in this material have been compiled or arrived at from sources believed to be reliable but Manulife Philippines does not make any representation as to their accuracy or completeness and does not accept liability for any loss arising from the use hereof.

The information in this document may contain projections or other forward-looking statements regarding future events, targets, management discipline or other expectations, and is only as current as of the date indicated. There is no assurance that such events will occur, and may be significantly different than that shown here. The information in this document including statements concerning financial market trends, are based on current market conditions, which will fluctuate and may be superseded by subsequent market events or for other reasons. This material was prepared solely for informational purposes and does not constitute an offer or an invitation by or on behalf of Manulife Philippines to any person to buy or sell any security. This material should not be viewed as a current or past recommendation or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any investment products or to adopt any investment strategy. Nothing in this material constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a representation that any investment or strategy is suitable or appropriate to your individual circumstances, or otherwise constitutes a personal recommendation to you.

Yields depend on interest and foreign exchange rate levels, both of which may fluctuate. Other factors that affect yield include changes in the credit standing of the issuers and changes in the value of the stocks and dividends received.  Further, investments of the Funds may provide that their values be determined based on prices or yields of other securities, instruments or foreign currencies, and such provisions may result in negative fluctuations in the value of these investments and, in turn, the Funds’ yields.  Thus, the performance of the separate account(s) is not guaranteed and the value of the policy could be less than the capital invested subject to any specified minimum guarantees. THE VARIABLE LIFE POLICYHOLDER SHALL BEAR ALL INVESTMENT RISKS. Past performance of the Funds is not necessarily indicative of future performance. Yields are not guaranteed.  Yields indicated are exclusive of charges associated with the variable life policy.

Media Contact:
Lils Liwanag
Manulife Philippines
(02) 884-5433
lils_liwanag@manulife.com

 



[1] The Asia Pacific Bond Fund is available through Manulife Philippines’ USD-denominated Affluence Max investment-linked insurance product.
[2] Up to a certain single premium amount only and subject to a maximum issue age.