Manulife-Sinochem receives the industry’s first branch office license in China

[ Manulife Indonesia chosen as Life Insurer of the Year in Asia for 2002 ]

Tuesday September 24, 2002

SHANGHAI, China, Oct. 21, 2002 – Manulife-Sinochem Life Insurance Co. Ltd. on October 17th was granted approval by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) to officially open its branch office in Guangzhou, China. This is the first branch license granted by CIRC to a foreign invested joint-venture life insurance company.

“This is a historical moment for the life insurance industry in China and for Manulife; we welcome this great news,” said Victor Apps, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Manulife Financial, Asia. “Guangzhou presents a fantastic opportunity for growth of our China business. We look forward to providing our new customers with the innovative products required for them to meet their financial objectives.”

Executing national expansion strategy

On November 26th, Manulife-Sinochem celebrates its sixth year of successful business operations in Shanghai. The Company’s agency force today has grown to 3,000 professionally trained agents serving more than 140,000 customers. For the first half of 2002, total sales increased 16 per cent over the same period last year. This new business growth can be attributed to the continued success of Manulife-Sinochem’s first-to-market profit-sharing product, and its uniquely packaged investment-linked rider and profit-sharing

“In a short period of time, we have established ourselves as a leading provider of premium financial products in Shanghai,” said Marc Sterling, Senior Vice-President, Regional Operations, Asia. “Now we have the opportunity to take our business to new levels, leveraging our experience in Shanghai so we can bring the best this industry has to offer to the citizens of Guangzhou – both in terms of career opportunities and financial offerings. This is the first step in our strategy for national expansion in China.”

“We expect to begin selling our products in approximately six weeks time, once the company has been officially registered,” added Mr. Sterling.

About Manulife-Sinochem

Manulife-Sinochem is a joint venture company between Manulife (International) Limited (51 per cent) and China Foreign Economic and Trade Trust & Investment Company, a member of the Sinochem group (49 per cent).

About Sinochem

China Foreign Economic and Trade Trust & Investment Company (FOTIC) is a core enterprise of Sinochem. Sinochem, founded in 1950, is one of the biggest foreign trading companies in China. Since 1989, Sinochem has topped the list of the country’s 500 leading foreign trading companies and has also been recognized as a Fortune 500 company for 12 years. For the year 2001, the company’s total revenue was US$16.165 billion.

About Manulife Financial

Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group operating in 15 countries and territories worldwide. Through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners, Manulife Financial offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services. Funds under management by Manulife Financial were Cdn$139.8 billion as at June 30, 2002.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSE, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘0945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at