Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Manulife Would Rather Acquire Than Increase Dividend Payouts

Bloomberg, 29 March 2006

Manulife Financial Corp. would rather spend excess cash on acquisitions than pay out more of its earnings in dividends, chief financial officer Peter Rubenovitch said. The company has "the flexibility to pursue any kind of options we would consider to be attractive to shareholders," he told investors yesterday at Montreal conference sponsored by National Bank Financial. Manulife raised the proportion of earnings paid to shareholders to as much as 35 per cent last year, from up to 30 per cent. Mr. Rubenovitch didn't name acquisition targets.