Manulife Expands in Asia
by Zacks Equity ResearchNovember 16, 2011 | Comments : 0 Recommended this article: (0)
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Manulife Financial, the brand name under which Manulife Financial Corporation ( MFC - Analyst Report ) operates in Canada and Asia, received ‘approval in principle’ from Cambodia's Ministry of Economy and Finance to build its operations there. The approval will help Manulife expand its footprint in Asia through a wholly foreign-owned life insurance operation in Cambodia.
Manuife will carry on its operation in Cambodia with its head office in Phnom Penh. Manulife is presently working with the Cambodia's government to finalize the license approval.
Manulife will re-enter the Asian market after a decade by establishing its business in Cambodia, its eleventh territory in the continent. The previous entry in Asia was in Vietnam in 1999.
Manulife’s expansion in the Asian markets will also help in reaching its goal to deliver profit of C$4 billion annually by 2015. Manulife stated that it will work with the Cambodian government to develop insurance business there. This in turn will help it to capitalize on the opportunities offered by the country which is growing at a rapid pace and having heavy foreign investments.
The Asia Division experienced a drop of 5% insurance sales in the third quarter largely due to a fall of 22% in Japan insurance sales. The first two quarters delivered 27% and 42% of growth, respectively. Expanding its presence in Asia will therefore help the division to turn around its insurance sales.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fourth-quarter 2011 is 29 cents per share. For full years 2011 and 2012, the Zacks Consensus Estimates are, respectively, 33 cents and $1.52.
The quantitative Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold rating) for Manulife financial corporation indicates no clear directional pressure on the stock over the near term.
Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Manulife Financial Corporation was founded in 1887. Manulife is one of three dominant life insurers within its domestic market and possesses rapidly growing operations in the U.S. and several Asian countries.
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