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

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 plan.

“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 www.manulife.com.

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

2002 Asia Insurance Industry Awards presented in Tokyo, Japan

JAKARTA, Indonesia, Oct. 21, 2002 – Manulife Indonesia has been awarded the “Life Insurance Company of the Year” award for 2002 by Asian Insurance Review (AIR), the premiere insurance publication in Asia, together with The Review – Worldwide Reinsurance. This prestigious industry award was presented at the Gala Awards Dinner in Tokyo, Japan yesterday.

Manulife Indonesia is the only life insurance company in Indonesia to ever be recognized by AIR in this category. “We are very proud of this hard-earned achievement and accept it in honour of all our loyal customers, dedicated employees and 3,000-strong agency,” said John Harrison, President Director, Manulife Indonesia at the Awards Dinner. “We thank them for all their loyal support over the years, and in particular over the past two years when we have had to deal with issues outside our normal business operations. Throughout this difficult time, their dedication never wavered and we are happy today to reward their commitment with this recognition by Asia’s insurance industry that Manulife Indonesia truly is the best life insurance company, not only in this country but across the region.”

The “Life Insurance Company of the Year” award is based on several criteria: demonstration of commitment to product innovation; research into and ability to respond to customers’ and society’s changing needs; consistently strong financial performance; strong management and a consistently high standard of customer service. Based on these criteria, a distinguished panel of 16 judges from across Asia and worldwide, ultimately selected Manulife Indonesia as the winner of this category for 2002.

“In the insurance industry, this award is widely recognized in Asia and worldwide. Manulife Financial is thrilled that its high-performing operations in Indonesia is being acknowledged for their ‘contribution to the pursuit of excellence,’ what the judges look for when they review the award submissions,” said Victor Apps, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Asia. “I have no doubt that Manulife Indonesia was up against some stellar competition in this category, but in the end this award demonstrates that Manulife Indonesia is truly the best in the industry in Asia.”

Creating the unbeatable gap

Manulife Indonesia differentiates itself from the competition and is well on its way to “creating the unbeatable gap” in the following ways:

  • In July 2002, Manulife Indonesia was awarded the title of ‘best life insurance company in Indonesia’ by respected business magazine – Pilar Bisnis – in an annual insurance company rating competition
  • Manulife Indonesia was established as the number one foreign pension provider, serving more than 55,000 employees as pension participants from 420 companies in Indonesia, following its acquisition of Principal Indonesia in August 2001.
  • A key member of the Manulife Indonesia group of companies, Manulife Aset Manajemen Indonesia (MAMI) at only three years of age is already one of the largest asset management companies in the country. MAMI has an industry leading number of agents – 600 – qualified to sell mutual funds.
  • Manulife Indonesia recently launched its Customer Relationship Management program designed specifically to develop and maintain strong relationships between our customers and agents via specially designed tools and services.
  • Manulife Indonesia is strongly committed to helping the Indonesia community through the Manulife Care Foundation. Manulife’s charitable organization brings together our agents, clients and employees as a team to help fight poverty in Indonesia. The Foundation’s philanthropic efforts have funded many programs, including: financial assistance to victims of natural disasters, financing dental care for the poor; renovating and building local schools; and, donating uniforms and tuition to needy school children.

The 2002 Asia Insurance Industry Awards

The Asia Insurance Industry Awards were first introduced five years ago by the Asia Insurance Review and The Review – Worldwide Reinsurance, to promote the industry’s move towards higher standards and greater professionalism. The Awards recognize the top performer in the Asia-Pacific region in a number of select categories, including: general insurance, reinsurance, most innovative product on the market, best Web site and personality of the year. The judges are international distinguished members of insurance and reinsurance companies as well as industry regulators.

About Manulife Indonesia

Manulife Indonesia, established in 1985, is one of the largest joint venture insurance companies in the country. The company offers the most comprehensive products and services in life insurance industry in Indonesia. Headquartered in Jakarta, Manulife Indonesia operates through a network of 72 branches in 33 cities throughout Indonesia with the support of almost 4,000 staff and full-time agents, who serve more than 400,000 customers.

With total assets exceeding IDR 76 trillion, Manulife ranks fourth in the Indonesia insurance industry. Total premium income for the company increased to IDR 580 billion in 2001, an increase of 28 per cent over the year earlier. Net income increased to IDR 76 billion in 2001, an increase of 61 per cent over 2000, bringing the accumulated profit to more than IDR 280 billion after 10 consecutive years of profitable growth.

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 product and wealth management services. Funds under management by Manulife Financial were CAD $139.8 billion as at June 30, 2002.

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