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Manulife Asset Management (Thailand) partners with First State Investments (Hong Kong) for the launch of Manulife Asian Equity Plus FIF (MN-AEPLUS) IPO 12-18 March 2019

          Manulife Asset Management (Thailand) ("Manulife AM (Thailand)") has announced the upcoming launch of the Manulife Asian Equity Plus FIF (MN-AEPLUS), which invests in high quality companies with attractive long-term growth prospects through the First State Asian Equity Plus Fund ("Master Fund"), a Morningstar-ranked fund. 
          Michael Reed, Chief Executive Officer of Manulife Asset Management (Thailand), explained: "In 2018, investors experienced a challenging environment driven by numerous uncertainties, which increased global market volatility. Major factors included Fed interest rate hike, oil price fluctuation, concern on the trade war between the United States, China, and the European Union and also capital outflows from emerging markets, which had adversely impacted on global investment sentiment and caused Asian equity market sell-off in 2H18. After seeing several issues start to unwind, investors have turned their investment into risky assets which Asian stock market is one of their target investments. The region's strong fundamentals are driven by strong domestic demand in two of the world's largest and fastest growing economies - China and India. With differentials between Asia and developed countries widening in growth and earnings, current attractive valuations should help capital inflows back to the region."
          Chaikaseam Vadhanasiripong, Chief Distribution Officer of Manulife Asset Management (Thailand) Co. Ltd., added: "Manulife AM (Thailand) envisage that Asia will be better positioned globally in 2019 and are now more constructive on selective markets and sectors that leverage on the fundamentals of economic growth, domestic demand, and attractive valuations. After exploring investment opportunities in the region, we found the First State Asian Equity Plus Fund (the "Fund") an attractive proposition for our clients. The Fund has generated outstanding performance over the long-term and has consistently outperformed the MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan Index (the "Benchmark"). As of January 31, 2019, the Fund recorded a 5-year cumulative return of 59.4% and an annualised return of 11.5% since its inception (25 February 2005), compared with the Benchmark's 5-year cumulative return of 33.5% and annualised return of 7.6% over the same period.
The First State Asian Equity Plus Fund is managed by First State Stewart Asia ("FSSA"), an investment team which is part of First State Investments ("FSI"). The team's long-term and conservative investment approach is driven by bottom-up fundamental company analysis, and seeks to invest in the leading companies in the Asia Pacific region. The Fund consists of a diversified portfolio of approximately 60-70 high quality companies selected on the basis of their potential dividend growth and long-term capital appreciation.
The FSSA team is optimistic on the long-term outlook for Asian equities, which benefits from favourable demographics and secular growth trends. Valuations are reasonable, with the market currently trading at a price-to-book ratio (PBR) lower than global equities. At the end of January 2019, the Fund was weighted 19.3% in India, 14.9% in Hong Kong, 14.1% in China, 9.4% in Taiwan and 6.6% in Japan. More importantly, with FSSA's disciplined and repeatable qualitative investment process, we believe that the Fund could continue to deliver attractive returns over the long-term."
          Manulife AM (Thailand) will launch the Manulife Asian Equity Plus FIF (MN-AEPLUS) which is a Feeder Fund investing in the First State Asian Equity Plus Fund Class I (Accumulation) USD ("Master Fund"). The initial public offering (IPO) for the Fund will run from 12th to 18th March 2019, inclusive. For more information, please contact Manulife Asset Management (Thailand) tel. 0-2844-0123, our valued distributors or the Manulife AM website www.manulife-asset.co.th. 
          Please consider the product features, conditions, risks and returns before making an investment decision.
          Past performance / performance comparison relating to a capital market product is not a guarantee of future results.
          The value of investment units may go down as well as up due to exchange rate fluctuation and investors may not get back their original investment.
 
           About Manulife Asset Management (Thailand)
          Manulife Asset Management (Thailand) Co. Ltd. is a subsidiary of Manulife Financial, a leading Canada-based financial services group. As a part of a global investment organization with fund analysts and investment professionals around the world and in 10 countries and territories throughout Asia, the company is fully supported by and interconnected with Manulife Asset Management's global team. Manulife Asset Management (Thailand) is one of only a few asset management companies in Thailand that has expertise in offshore fund management; a core strength.

          About Manulife Asset Management
          Manulife Asset Management is the global asset management arm of Manulife Financial Corporation ("Manulife"). We provide comprehensive asset management solutions for investors across a broad range of public and private asset classes, as well as asset allocation solutions. We also provide portfolio management for affiliated retail Manulife and John Hancock product offerings.
          Our investment expertise includes public and private equity and fixed income, real estate and infrastructure equity and debt, timberland and farmland, oil and gas, and mezzanine debt. We operate in the United States, Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, as well as through a China joint venture, Manulife TEDA. We also serve investors in select European, Middle Eastern, and Latin American markets.
As at December 31, 2018, assets under management for Manulife Asset Management were approximately US$364 billion. Additional information may be found at ManulifeAM.com.

          About Manulife 
          Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. We operate primarily as John Hancock in the United States and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance, as well as wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. At the end of 2018, we had more than 35,000 employees and thousands of distribution partners, serving about 28 million customers. As of December 31, 2018, we had over $1.1 trillion (US$794 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made over $29 billion in payments to our customers. Our principal operations are in Asia, Canada and the United States where we have served customers for more than 100 years.
          With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we trade as 'MFC' on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under '945' in Hong Kong.