February 13, 2020 / 3:10 PM / in 4 months

Manulife's 25% leverage enables it to deploy capital into organic investments - CFO

TORONTO, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Manulife Financial Corp , Canada’s biggest insurance company, has reduced its leverage ratio to under 25%, giving it flexibility to deploy capital, primarily into organic investments, Chief Financial Officer Phil Witherington said on an analyst call on Thursday.

The company has also seen 1,900 employee departures through as part of its restructuring initiatives, and has delivered C$700 million of its C$1 billion target of expense efficiencies, Chief Executive Roy Gori said on the call.

Manulife on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter earnings excluding one-off items of 73 Canadian cents a share, missing analyst estimates of 75 cents, and raised its dividend by 12%. Its shares were down 1.4% on Thursday. (Reporting By Nichola Saminather)

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