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Manulife considers selling US unit in Asia refocus

Manulife is reportedly toying with the idea of divesting its insurance operations in the US. The plan comes at a time when the Canadian insurer is set to welcome a new chief executive officer.

Manulife already tapped the services of investment bankers from Morgan Stanley to identify strategic options for its Boston-based John Hancock Financial Services division.

Either an initial public offering or a spinoff is in the offing, said sources with direct knowledge of the development.

The proposal to offload the US unit would radically restructure Manulife as the unit accounted for more than a third of profits at Manulife last year and 56% of its assets under management and administration.

The planned divestment would allow incoming CEO Roy Gori to concentrate on the firm’s operations in Asia, which has been acknowledged as an important growth driver in the coming years.