Manulife Financial Corporation Joins Temasek-led Project Finance Company Consortium in Singapore

Manulife Financial becomes a shareholder of Clifford Capital.

Singapore - Manulife Financial Corporation today announced that it has joined a Temasek-led consortium as a shareholder of Clifford Capital Pte Ltd, a project finance company, set up to provide financing to support Singapore-based companies seeking to expand abroad.

Clifford Capital was announced by The Minister of Finance in Singapore in February 2012. Its focus is to fund cross-border projects in emerging markets, in which Singapore-based companies are expanding into. It was also announced that Clifford Capital would over time target to provide about S$400 million (US$316 million) of financing annually.

Manulife Financial Corporation joins DBS Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Standard Chartered Bank in the Temasek-led consortium. Clifford Capital is expected to begin operating in the last quarter of 2012. The Singapore government will guarantee the debt issued by Clifford Capital to help it raise further funds competitively.

Mr. Philip Hampden-Smith, Executive Vice President and General Manager, South East Asia Operations, Manulife Financial Corporation, said, "We are proud to play a role in helping deserving Singapore companies expand abroad through the provision of this funding vehicle. We will leverage our investment and asset management expertise to help identify promising projects and regional developments to participate in."

"Manulife Financial has operated in Asia since 1897, making 2012 its 115th anniversary in the region. In fact, we have the longest continuous operations in Asia of any international life insurer. For 115 years, Manulife Financial has supported the growth and development of Asia through its investments. As at March 31, 2012, we invested US$45.5 billion in Asia, of which, US$3.1 billion was in Singapore. Our investments provide capital to grow companies to help them expand and provide finance to governments to support needed infrastructure development," added Mr. Hampden-Smith.

Manulife is also an active investor in Asia's emergent companies which are vital to Asia's success. According to a white paper published by Manulife Asset Management, the global investment arm of Manulife Financial, companies with a market capitalization of US$2 billion or greater are in fact in the minority across the Asia Pacific region, especially in Asia's emerging markets, typically representing only a fraction of their relevant stock exchange.

Manulife Asset Management has investment professionals on the ground across 10 territories in Asia to unearth the value of these emergent companies and to provide capital to help them capture growth opportunities and in turn, realise the potential. At the same time, investors in Asia are provided with access to these companies through our Asia small cap equity strategy which is available through our mutual fund products offered in Singapore.

Established in 1980, Manulife Singapore has built a renowned reputation as a product innovator in the ever-changing financial services market. Through a multi-channel distribution strategy and network, the business has grown significantly in recent years. Manulife Singapore employs over 240 staff and has a team of over 1,000 professional Financial Planners, serving close to 164,000 clients and over 278,000 policies.

About Manulife Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. In 2012, we celebrate 125 years of providing clients 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 also provide asset management services to institutional customers. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$512 billion (US$512 billion) as at March 31, 2012. 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.

About Manulife Asset Management
Manulife Asset Management is the global asset management arm of Manulife Financial. Manulife Asset Management provides comprehensive asset management solutions for institutional investors and investment funds in key markets around the world. Manulife Asset Management also provides investment management services to affiliates' retail clients through product offerings of Manulife and John Hancock. This investment expertise extends across a broad 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. John Hancock Asset Management, Hancock Natural Resource Group and Declaration Management and Research are units of Manulife Asset Management.

Manulife Asset Management was named Best Asian Bond House by Asia Asset Management. As at March 31, 2012, assets under management were US$220 billion.

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Company Name: Manulife Singapore
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Keywords : Manulife Financial Corporation, Temasek-led, Project Finance Company, Consortium Singapore,

by shakun raj (few years ago!)

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