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Manulife signs Hong Kong’s largest Grade A office leasing deal in the past 20 months 

Accelerating agency growth with approximately 145,000 square-foot Grade A office space in Kowloon East

For Immediate Release

April 7, 2021

TSX/NYSE/PSE: MFC     SEHK: 945

Hong Kong – Manulife Hong Kong today announced it has signed a lease agreement for approximately 145,000 square feet of Grade A office space at International Trade Tower (ITT) in Kowloon East. This is Hong Kong’s largest Grade A office leasing deal since July 2019 and the largest in Kowloon East since April 2018 in terms of net floor area1, reinforcing Manulife’s strong commitment to Hong Kong and its ambition to accelerate agency growth.

The lease agreement, signed with the landlord, private investment firm PAG, forms part of Manulife’s agency growth plans. Manulife will be one of the anchor tenants in ITT, occupying a total of four floors. Manulife has expanded its agency force significantly in recent years and its hiring spree is ongoing. It had 10,706 agents in Hong Kong at the end of 2020, having more than doubled its agency size during the past decade.

“We are excited to conclude this lease deal as part of our plan to accelerate our agency expansion and further support our continued growth,” said Damien Green, Chief Executive Officer of Manulife Hong Kong and Macau. “It has been our goal to achieve annual double-digit growth in our agency force to meet increasing customer demand for protection. This also reaffirms Manulife’s long-term commitment to our ambitious growth agenda in Hong Kong and solidifies our leadership in the financial industry.”

ITT will become Manulife’s fourth Grade A office in Kowloon East. Manulife Hong Kong has been based in the Manulife Financial Centre since 2009. It acquired the Manulife Tower in 2013 and expanded its agency offices to The Quayside in 2020. These four working hubs together make the company one of the largest employers in Kowloon East.

Manulife was one of the first multinationals to move its offices to Kowloon East, where it has continuously expanded its presence over the past decade in this new Central Business District (CBD2). Located just three minutes’ walk from Ngau Tau Kok MTR station, the new office lies at the heart of Hong Kong’s CBD2. The CBD2 forms part of the government’s long-term strategy to grow Hong Kong as a smart city.

ITT was completed in 2018. The building is designed to minimize its environmental footprint and maximize the wellbeing of its occupants with its iconic and minimalist visual identity.

“We are very proud to have Manulife - a multinational premium brand with deep roots in Hong Kong, as ITT’s anchor tenant. We believe this best-in-class workspace, in a thriving neighbourhood, will help bolster the wellbeing of Manulife agents and support the company’s future development,” said Claire Chan, Managing Director at PAG. “As major stakeholders in CBD2, we look forward to working with Manulife together in contributing to the sustainable development of this area.”

“As Manulife’s long-term leasing partner, we are delighted to be able to help support their business growth by securing office space in ITT,” said Rhodri James, Vice Chairman, Advisory & Transaction – Office Services, CBRE Hong Kong. “ITT is one of the most sought-after Grade-A buildings in Kowloon East offering high-specification and flexible layouts which will allow Manulife to create a sustainable and future-proof working environment for its agents.”

Despite the very challenging market conditions last year, Manulife delivered solid results in the fourth quarter, which saw core earnings rise 10% year-on-year to HK$1.8 billion – the 14th consecutive quarter that Manulife Hong Kong has recorded year-on-year growth in core earnings.

“Manulife’s agency network has demonstrated strong resilience as reflected in our solid business performance in 2020,” said Mr. Green. “Looking forward, we remain committed to serving the growing health and retirement needs of Hong Kong people to make their lives every day better.”

Manulife Hong Kong signed a lease agreement for approximately 145,000 square feet of Grade A office space at International Trade Tower. Present at the signing ceremony were Damien Green, Chief Executive Officer of Manulife Hong Kong and Macau (left), and Claire Chan, Managing Director at PAG (right).

About Manulife Hong Kong

Manulife Hong Kong, through Manulife International Holdings Limited, owns Manulife (International) Limited, Manulife Investment Management (Hong Kong) Limited and Manulife Provident Funds Trust Company Limited. As a member of the Manulife group of companies, Manulife Hong Kong offers a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individual and corporate customers in Hong Kong and Macau.

About Manulife

Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we operate as Manulife across our offices in Canada, Asia, and Europe, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. We provide financial advice, insurance, and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. At the end of 2020, we had more than 37,000 employees, over 118,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving over 30 million customers. As of December 31, 2020, we had C$1.3 trillion (HK$7.9 trillion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made C$31.6 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 155 years. We trade as 'MFC' on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under '945' in Hong Kong.

About PAG

PAG is a leading Asia-focused private investment manager, with strategies including private equity, private debt, real estate and hedge funds. PAG employs more than 200 investment professionals in 11 key offices, and currently manages US$40 billion in capital on behalf of institutional investors from Europe, North America, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. For more information, please visit www.pag.com.

About ITT

International Trade Tower (ITT) is an award-winning premium Grade A office tower offering a flexible, sustainable, a future-proof work environment to multinational corporates in the heart of Kowloon East. Developed with BEAM Plus Gold Rating and LEED Gold Certification, the building is designed to minimise its environment footprint and maximise the wellbeing of its occupant. For more information, please visit itt-hk.com.

Notes:

1  Based on statistics of CBRE Hong Kong