Toronto-based Manulife Financial Corp. is reinsuring some of its businesses and boosting the company’s quarterly dividend by 14%, the company announced Thursday.
The insurance firm says it has entered into agreements with counterparties to reinsure substantially all of its legacy U.S. individual and group pay-out annuities businesses, and mortality and lapse risk on a portion of its legacy Canadian universal life policies. These transactions are expected to release over $1 billion of capital over the next year.
The dividend payout — which is coming a quarter earlier than in recent years — will increase by 3¢ per share to 25¢, payable as of Dec. 19 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Nov. 30.
The Toronto-based company also says it has received TSX approval to repurchase up to 40 million of its common shares or about 2% of the nearly two million shares outstanding.
The announcements were made ahead of Manulife’s release of third-quarter results after markets close next Wednesday.
Manulife’s shares have fallen about 25% from their 52-week high.
The company, which operates mainly as John Hancock in the U.S. and Manulife elsewhere, had more than $1.1 trillion in assets under management and administrations.