Canada's Manulife Financial (TSE: MFC) spreads expands its Asian business and plans to reach $4 Billion in net income by 2015. This report, from Bloomberg, notes that Manulife will be opening an office Phnom Penh, Cambodia, its first in the Southeast Asian nation.
Manulife has recently been searching for broad expansion opportunities in Asia as the market is currently underserved by insurance corporations, unlike at home in North America, where the market is largely saturated. Currently, Manulife is the owner of Boston-based John Hancock Financial, as well as insurance businesses in Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Japan.
Regarding Cambodia, Manulife officials state:
“We see an emerging middle class here... These are people starting families with steady jobs, fairly good jobs, where the average age is 25.”
This is in stark contrast to the North American market where the rapidly aging population provides insurance companies with little room for base expansion. Also, in a wise move, the company has decided to begin by offering basic term-life insurance plans to Cambodian consumers, which should feed them a steady stream of premium income with less risk.
At present levels near the $10 range, Manulife yield almost 5% per annum, which for the Intelligent Investor is a good steady stream of dividend income.