Manulife Asset Management Awarded Hong Kong Hospital Authority Provident Fund Scheme's First Ever Dim Sum Bond Mandate

HONG KONG, June 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Manulife Asset Management has been awarded a mandate from the Hong Kong Hospital Authority Provident Fund Scheme to manage the Authority's exposure to Hong Kong's offshore RMB bond market. The mandate, which will see Manulife Asset Management managing approximately US$15million of CNH bonds, is the first time the Hospital Authority Provident Fund Scheme has invested in the burgeoning market, also known as the CNH or Dim Sum bond market.

Michael Dommermuth, President and Head of Asia at Manulife Asset Management Asia said: "This mandate win is indicative of the considerable interest we are seeing from institutional investors looking to be a part of the nascent CNH bond market. So-called Dim Sum bonds have quickly captured investors' interest not just for the opportunity to generate returns from the bonds themselves but also to gain access to the potential for longer term appreciation of the Renminbi."

The CNH mandate is the second time that the Hong Kong Hospital Authority Provident Fund Scheme has chosen Manulife Asset Management to manage its fixed income investments. In July 2010, the Hospital Authority Provident Fund Scheme picked the asset manager to manage its Hong Kong dollar bond investments for its Occupational Retirement Scheme Ordinance program (ORSO), which invests on behalf of about 35,000 staff members working in Hong Kong's public hospitals. 

Heman Wong, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Hospital Authority Provident Fund Scheme said: "There is clearly significant potential to generate returns from Hong Kong's offshore RMB market and we believe that there is an advantage to being an early adopter in this market. Given its infancy, this can be a complex market to navigate and Manulife Asset Management's size and experience in investing in Hong Kong-based fixed income markets as well as their existing expertise in China and Asia-wide bond investments led us to decide to extend the existing mandate we awarded them in 2010 to include a CNH sub-account."  

Manulife Asset Management was one of the first global asset management companies to enter the offshore RMB bond market when it launched in 2010. The market has benefited from a raft of measures by the Chinese government which have positioned Hong Kong as the offshore RMB capital, leading to a rush of more domestic and international issuers tapping this newly formed market. These have included the international fast food chain, McDonalds Corporation, the first foreign multinational to tap this market. So far in 2011 alone, an estimated CNH37billion (US$5.7 billion) in bonds have been issued in Hong Kong, taking the total market size to almost CNH100 billion (more than US$15 billion)*.

Manulife Asset Management invests in CNH bonds on behalf of individual institutional investors and also as part of its Asia Total Return strategy, which currently has approximately 14% of the portfolio invested in this market.

Notes to editors:

*Source: Asian Investor April 29, 2011

About Manulife Asset Management  

Manulife Asset Management™ is the global asset management arm of Manulife Financial. Manulife Asset Management 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 full 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 March 31, 2011 total assets under management were US$ 217 billion. Additional information about Manulife Asset Management can be found at ManulifeAM.com.

About Manulife Financial

Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group operating in 22 countries and territories worldwide. For more than 120 years, clients worldwide 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 around the world. We provide asset management services to institutional customers worldwide as well as reinsurance solutions, specializing in life and property and casualty retrocession. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were $478 billion (US$492 billion) as at March 31, 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.

SOURCE Manulife Asset Management



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