May 7, 2009 / 1:39 PM / in 8 years

UPDATE 1-Manulife reports Q1 loss as equity, assets fall

* Q1 loss C$0.67/shr vs EPS C$0.57 last year

* Losses in equity markets, alternative assets drove loss

* Says capital position at high end of range

TORONTO, May 7 (Reuters) - Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO), Canada’s largest insurer, reported a larger quarterly loss on Thursday as stock market declines and credit-related impairments took a toll.

The company said it lost C$1.07 billion ($916 million), or 67 Canadian cents a share, in the first quarter ended March 31, compared with a profit of C$869 million, or 57 Canadian cents a share, in the same period last year.

Manulife said the quarter’s net loss was primarily driven by continued declines across all equity markets, particularly in the United States. Reserve strengthening for segregated fund guarantees resulted in an accounting charge of C$1.15 billion. Credit impairments were C$121 million.

Also affecting earnings were fair value adjustments of C$277 million primarily for declines in commercial real estate values, C$255 million of equity related charges and C$72 million related to credit downgrades, the company said.

$1=$1.16 Canadian Reporting by Andrea Hopkins, editing by Dave Zimmerman

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