Company News

Manulife expects downgrades on some energy exposures on oil price declines

TORONTO, May 7 (Reuters) - Manulife Financial Corp expects significant pressure on oil prices to lead to downgrades on some of its energy holdings, but doesn’t expect widespread defaults in its investments, its chief investment officer said on Thursday.

Canada’s biggest life insurer saw losses of C$750 million ($533.54 million) in oil and gas investments in its advanced life deferred annuity (ALDA) product, which contributed to a 40% decline in the company’s first-quarter net income.

While further losses from its oil and gas investments are possible, its exposure to higher quality companies will limit them and keep a lid on defaults, CIO Scott Hartz said on an analyst call on Thursday.

Manulife shares rose 1.2% to C$16.89 in morning trade in Toronto. ($1 = 1.4057 Canadian dollars) (Reporting By Nichola Saminather)