• Manulife expands presence in Mindanao

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    MANULIFE Philippines, the local arm of Canadian insurance giant Manulife Financial Corp. (MFC), has expanded its presence in Mindanao after opening two branches in Dipolog and Butuan last September 24 and 28.

    This brings Manulife’s total branches in the country to 38—seven in the Greater Manila Area, 13 in Luzon, 11 in the Visayas and seven in Mindanao—from 32 at the end of 2014.

    “At the heart of our business is the customer. We want to make sure that we are doing what we can to be responsive to their needs. By being accessible to them through more branches nationwide, we hope to be able to meet their needs better and faster,” said Ryan Charland, Manulife Philippines’ president and chief executive officer.

    The company earlier announced it targets to open 50 branches by end-2016. So far this year, Manulife has opened six new branches and nine more are planned to be opened next year.

    “We are excited to bring our products and services closer to our customers as this will allow us to help more people plan for a better financial future,” Charland said.

    Manulie said it has cornered 8 to 8.5 percent of the Philippine market but is targeting to reach “double digits” to at least 10 percent after the expansion plan next year.

    “The industry did quite well in the first six months and we also did well. We’re up to keep pace with the industry in the second half,” Charland said.

    He said bulk of Manulife’s growth will come from the regular premium business which accounts for more than 50 percent of sales.

    For the first half, the total life insurance industry grew by 49 percent from a year ago.

    “There are a lot of opportunities in the market given that a lot of Filipinos still do not have the coverage. With 7,000 advisers, and our partnership with China Bank, we will continue to work well and execute what we already have,” Charland said.

    China Bank owns 40 percent stake in its bancassurance joint venture with Manulife Philippines, called Manulife China Bank Life Assurance Corp.

    As of September, Manulife Philippines’ assets under management amount to about P90 billion.

    Established in the Philippines 108 years ago, Manulife Philippines is the wholly-owned domestic subsidiary of Toronto-based MFC, mainly involved in life insurance, pension and education businesses. Aside from the Philippines and Canada, MFC has presence in the United States, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Hong Kong and China.

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