上星期宏利股價於美國創下52週低位21.97美元, 今日宏利於香港也創下52週低位178.2港元, 收市報192.5. 投資者見到一連串保險同業的不利新聞, 包括AIG要接受美國政府的注資, 美國大都會人壽(Metlife)宣佈以每股26.5美元公開發行7500萬股普通股, 集資接近20億美元, 而且宣佈夫撤銷對2008年盈利預期. 在亞洲, 日本大和生命保險公司向東京地方法院申請破產保護. 市場出現對保險業的恐慌情緒.
今晚, 宏利管理層發佈一些重要的資料去釋除市場人士的疑慮. 無論這些資料的發放最終對股價是否起到支持作用, 但筆者身為宏利的股東, 就非常讚賞管理層提高公司的透明度, 以及積極回應目前市場的憂慮的做法.
Variable Annuities and Segregated Funds
Manulife Financial is a provider of variable annuities and segregated funds in Canada, the United States and Asia. Typically, funds are deposited for investment in a basket of pre-approved funds where the investor would often receive a series of annual payments for a defined period. The bulk of these payments would be expected to occur between the next 7 to 30 years and the amounts paid prior to that period would be immaterial. In exchange for a fee and provided the annuity is held for a specified period of time, Manulife provides guaranteed benefits. These products are designed to provide consumers with the equivalent of a private pension plan tailored to their individual needs.
At September 30, 2008, notwithstanding the steep decline of equity markets, Manulife fully expects the fees collected on these contracts will exceed the benefits payable over their lifetime. Despite this, at the end of third quarter, Manulife held an actuarially determined reserve of $1.4 billion in respect of any potential future shortfall. This reserve is recalculated every quarter to reflect the passage of time and any change in the market value of assets that may have occurred. Manulife reserves for these guarantees at a high confidence level which, at the end of third quarter, is expected to be at a level exceeding 90%. To the extent that any increase in reserve is required in any period, this would decrease the earnings for that period. In periods of rising market values, the converse would be the case.
(註: 年金是宏利的重要業務之一, 保險公司通常會在盈利好景的時候, 撥一部分盈利做儲備, 在盈利不好景的時候, 從儲備中補貼. 呢方面筆者對宏利有信心).
In addition to the high level of assurance provided by these reserves, under Manulife's regulatory capital framework, the Company provides additional capital to support these future obligations. At the end of the third quarter, Manulife expects its MCCSR regulatory capital ratio to be within its targeted operating range of 180% to 200%.
Since quarter end, equity markets have deteriorated further which will have an unfavourable impact on Manulife's capital ratios unless these markets recover. The Company will continue to manage its regulatory capital, however, it has no plans to issue common equity.
(註: 宏利有穩健的資產負債表, 資本充足, 甚至擁有超額資本).
Credit Losses - Fixed Income Securities
Manulife has previously announced the major credit exposures to noteworthy names affecting its third quarter earnings. Manulife expects that the earnings impact of credit losses will be approximately $250 million in the third quarter, including approximately $50 million due to reserve strengthening as a result of credit downgrades.
Despite these charges, Manulife's asset quality remains very high. Due to generalized spread widening, the gross unrealized losses on fixed income securities have expanded to approximately $6 billion, a relatively modest amount given total invested assets of $165 billion at September 30, 2008. Manulife has the ability to hold these securities until maturity, has provided for the expected level of defaults in its actuarial reserves, and would expect no significant earnings impact in respect of these gross unrealized losses.
(註: 由於息差擴闊和市場利率上升, 定息證券的價格會下跌, 所以定息證券組合會有浮虧, 但宏利講明有足夠財力持有到期, 而且已經為可能發生的Credit default預留儲備, 股東可以放心).
There has been an increased market scrutiny of a particular class of assets, namely fixed income securities trading down 20% or more for at least six months. Of the $6 billion mentioned above, Manulife has approximately $200 million of exposure to fixed income securities trading down 20% or more for at least six months, again a modest amount given the large size of its overall portfolio.
Manulife has insignificant credit, investment or counterparty risk related to securities lending. Despite this, the Company has reduced its securities lending activities in light of heightened market uncertainty. The total amount of securities lending outstanding is now less than $1.5 billion. The securities lending is backed by the highest-quality, liquid collateral and the loans are to very creditworthy institutions.
Manulife is fully self-funded, meaning our businesses generate enough cash flow to sustain our operations without being dependent on the commercial paper markets or other short-term funding arrangements. The Company has consciously avoided businesses which give rise to immediate liquidity needs. As a result, the Company has high levels of liquidity. Manulife holds over $11 billion in cash and high grade short term assets, representing approximately 7% of invested assets. The majority of the other fixed income holdings are also liquid.
(註: 現時的金融市況, 維持足夠的流動性非常重要. 現時靠發行commercial paper 或者向同業拆借去得到資金幾乎不可行, 就算借到, 資金成本也非常高. 宏利擁有超過110億加元的現金和流動資產, 反映管理層保守穩健的經營作風).