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Manulife profit jumps 45% on interest rates, Asian insurance

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(Bloomberg) — Manulife Financial Corp., Canada’s largest life insurer, reported a 45 percent gain in first-quarter profit after benefiting from interest-rate movements and record insurance sales in Asia.

Net income in the first quarter was C$1.045 billion ($812 million), up from C$723 million in the year-ago period, the Toronto-based company said in a statement Thursday. Profit excluding some items was 44 cents a share, above the 43-cent average of 13 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Market-related gains “more than offset depressed oil and gas prices in the quarter,” Chief Executive Officer Donald Guloien said in the statement. The company recorded a C$474 million markets gain, including the impact of interest rates.

The company’s stock rose 0.4 percent to C$18.07 at market close in Toronto Wednesday. The shares are down 13 percent this year.


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