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Manulife launches 15 new funds

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Manulife Mutual Funds has launched 15 new funds, further expanding and strengthening the global investment options it offers to advisors and their clients.

"Building on our robust growth in the first half of 2011, we are very excited to now offer more than two dozen of what we believe will be outstanding investment options for our customers," says Paul Lorentz (pictured), President of Manulife Investments. "We believe these Funds have excellent investment mandates with top investment managers to execute them. These additional offerings across multiple asset classes will help investors meet their individual needs as well as help to further position Manulife Mutual Funds as a premier provider of investment solutions."

Manulife Mutual Funds’ year to date sales as of 30 June, 2011 surpassed USD2.2 billion, an increase of 66 per cent from the previous year. During the second quarter of 2011, it posted new sales of USD864 million. Moreover, Manulife Mutual Funds was the second fastest growing firm based on funds under management of the top 10 firms reporting to the Investment Funds Institute of Canada so far this year.

"With the addition of a large number of high quality funds to our line-up, we continue to send a strong message to advisors and their clients of the positive momentum at Manulife Mutual Funds," said Jeff Ray, Assistant Vice President, Mutual Funds & Structured Products. "This is part of our on-going commitment to provide advisors and their clients with access to top performing portfolio managers and mutual fund solutions."

Of particular note among the new Funds are the:

Manulife Leveraged Company Class – This mutual fund will be unique in Canada and managed by Dennis F. McCafferty, John F Iles and Joseph Rizzo of Manulife Asset Management (US), LLC. It seeks to deliver capital appreciation by investing primarily in the equity and debt securities of leveraged companies. Taking a contrarian approach, the managers will invest in companies in challenged industries and/or in companies in difficult circumstances with the potential to rebound. This mutual fund should appeal to investors with high risk tolerance, who are seeking maximum returns through a unique and opportunistic portfolio of primarily US securities.

Manulife Value Balanced Fund/Class – Two of Manulife Asset Management’s most experienced managers will oversee this highly flexible global balanced fund. Alan Wicks and Terry Carr, who direct the team managing the successful Manulife Monthly High Income Fund, will manage this Fund which seeks to provide long-term total return by investing primarily in Canadian and foreign equity and fixed-income securities, with no asset, sector or geographical constraints.

Manulife US All Cap Equity Fund/Class and the Manulife US Large Cap Equity Fund/Class – Earlier this year, Walter McCormick and Emory Sanders, who have worked together for more than a decade, brought their core value team to Manulife Asset Management. Highly experienced in the industry, they will lead the team managing these two new funds, following their 7-step process to uncover financially strong companies with sustainable competitive advantages, selling at discounts to intrinsic value.

The US All Cap Equity Fund/Class will seek to provide long-term capital growth by investing in a broad range of US equities across different sectors and market capitalizations. The Manulife US Large Cap Equity Fund/Class will seek to provide long-term capital growth by focusing on large cap US companies that the portfolio managers believe are well positioned to outperform over the long term.

The other new Funds include the:

Manulife Asia Total Return Bond Fund – Endre Pedersen and Yu-Ming Wang of Manulife Asset Management (Hong Kong) Limited, believe credit markets in Asia are under-researched due to limited coverage, which creates investment opportunities. Their team will seek to extract value through proprietary research of the fast developing Asian bond markets. The strategy will invest primarily in a diversified portfolio of fixed-income securities issued by governments, agencies, supranationals and corporations in Asia.

Manulife Global Small Cap Balanced Fund – Leveraging the strength of Paul Moroz of Mawer Investment Management Ltd who manages the Manulife Global Small Cap Fund and Manulife Asset Management’s Dan Janis and his team which manages the Manulife Strategic Income Fund, this new balanced fund will combine global small cap equities and global multi-sector bonds in one portfolio. Mr. Moroz will manage the equity portion by direct purchases into the Manulife Global Small Cap Fund and the fixed income portion by direct purchases into the Manulife Strategic Income Fund.

Manulife Global Focused Balanced Fund – This Fund, which will be managed by Third Avenue Management LLC, will provide investors with exposure to a carefully selected portfolio of equity and fixed-income securities that meet Third Avenue’s investing criteria. The equity side of the portfolio will invest directly into the Manulife Global Focused Fund while the fixed income side will invest in securities using Third Avenue’s credit capabilities.

Manulife International Value Equity Fund/Class – This Fund will leverage the investment capabilities of Wendell Perkins, Peggy McKay, and their international value team which joined Manulife Asset Management earlier this year. The Fund’s mandate will be based on the team’s successful international value strategy.

Manulife High Yield Bond Fund – Leveraging the strength of Terry Carr’s fixed income team, this Fund will seek to generate a high level of income with the potential for capital appreciation by investing primarily in higher yielding, lower quality global fixed income securities.

Manulife Asia Equity Class – Managed by Linda Csellak, head of Asia Pacific equities for Manulife Asset Management in Hong Kong, this Fund will focus on companies in the Asia Pacific (ex-Japan) region, taking advantage of the organization’s on-the-ground presence throughout Asia.

Manulife Diversified Strategies Fund – A new global asset allocation portfolio managed by Manulife Asset Management’s Portfolio Solutions Group, this Fund will be positioned to provide consistent returns over the long term as well as downside protection during times of market turbulence.

The successful Manulife Simplicity Income Portfolio is being renamed to Manulife Diversified Income Portfolio and joining the Manulife Income Family of Funds.

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