An anonymous director reports
MANULIFE ANNOUNCES INTENTION TO LAUNCH NORMAL COURSE ISSUER BID
Manulife Financial Corp., subject to the approval of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) and the Toronto Stock Exchange, intends to launch a normal course issuer bid (NCIB) permitting the purchase for cancellation of up to 58 million of its common shares, representing approximately 3 per cent of Manulife's issued and outstanding common shares. As at Oct. 31, 2019, Manulife had 1,948,859,681 common shares issued and outstanding.
Manulife believes that the purchase of Manulife common shares at recent market prices is an appropriate investment by Manulife since, in its view, recent market prices do not reflect the underlying value of Manulife's business. Having an NCIB in place will provide Manulife with the flexibility to purchase common shares as part of its capital management strategy which is designed to maintain healthy regulatory capital ratios while balancing the objective of generating shareholder value.
Purchases under the NCIB may be made through the facilities of the TSX, the New York Stock Exchange, and alternative trading systems in Canada and the United States at market prices prevailing at the time of purchase or such other price as may be permitted. Manulife will file a notice of intention to make an NCIB with the TSX. The bid period will commence after the TSX has accepted the notice of intention and continue for up to one year. All common shares acquired by Manulife under the NCIB will be cancelled. Repurchases will be subject to compliance with applicable Canadian securities laws and United States federal securities laws.
Subject to regulatory approval, Manulife may also acquire common shares directly from other holders by way of private agreement pursuant to issuer bid exemption orders issued by applicable securities regulatory authorities. Any private purchase made under an exemption order issued by a securities regulatory authority will generally be at a discount to the prevailing market price. Manulife may also enter into derivative-based programs in support of its repurchase activities, including the writing of put options and forward purchase agreements, accelerated share repurchase transactions, other equity contracts or use other methods of acquiring shares, in each case subject to regulatory approval and on such terms and at such times as shall be permitted by applicable securities laws. The total number of common shares repurchased under the NCIB and all other potential arrangements will not exceed 58 million common shares.
Subject to regulatory approval, Manulife intends from time to time to enter into predefined plans with a registered investment dealer to allow for the repurchase of common shares at times when Manulife ordinarily would not be active in the market due to its own internal trading blackout periods, insider trading rules or otherwise. Any such plans will be adopted in accordance with applicable Canadian securities laws and United States federal securities laws.
Manulife's current normal course issuer bid commenced on Nov. 14, 2018, for the purchase of up to 40 million common shares and was amended effective Feb. 22, 2019, to increase the number of common shares that Manulife may repurchase to up to 99 million shares. The current NCIB will continue until Nov. 13, 2019, when it expires, or such earlier date as Manulife completes its purchases.
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