HTRG Establishes Hancock Forest Management New Zealand

ROTORUA, New Zealand, December 1, 2004 – Hancock Forest Management has opened a new office in New Zealand to provide forest management services for its properties there.

Hancock Forest Management Limited (HFM NZ) is the New Zealand forest management subsidiary of the U.S.-based Hancock Timber Resource Group, the world’s largest timberland investment manager for institutional investors. HFM NZ will provide integrated forest management services on approximately 40,000 hectares (100,000 acres) located in the Central North Island region of New Zealand.

“Our local team is excited about the opportunity to provide the full range of property management services for Hancock Timber’s investors,” said Bill McCallum, HFM NZ’s General Manager. “By integrating forest management with in-house client services, all of the organization’s business interests are lined up in the most direct possible way to serve clients’ needs.”

HFM NZ’s parent company, Hancock Natural Resource Group Australia Pty Ltd., provides regional investment and asset management services from locations in Rotorua, Sydney and Melbourne, and now manages more than 300,000 hectares (750,000 acres) in Australia and New Zealand.

About HFM NZ

HFM NZ is a subsidiary of Sydney-based Hancock Natural Resource Group Australia Pty Ltd. (HNRGA), in turn a wholly owned subsidiary of Hancock Natural Resource Group, Inc. HNRG is an operating company of MFC Global Investment Management, the institutional asset management arm of Manulife Financial. MFC Global is based in Toronto and has investment offices in Boston, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong and other cities in Southeast Asia. Additional information about MFC Global may be found at its website: http://www.mfcglobal.com.Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 19 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and most of Asia, and primarily through John Hancock in the United States, the company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$346 billion (US$274 billion) as at September 30, 2004.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘0945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the at www.manulife.com.