June 27, 2018 / 2:24 PM / a year ago

Manulife plans to free up $3.8 billion in capital by 2022

FILE PHOTO: The Manulife Financial Corporation logo appears at the company's Annual General Meeting in Toronto May 1, 2014. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill/File Photo

TORONTO (Reuters) - Manulife (MFC.TO), Canada’s biggest insurer, said on Wednesday it had set a target to free up C$5 billion ($3.8 billion) in capital over the next three years, partly by offloading businesses that it no longer wants.

Reuters reported in February that Manulife was weighing the sale of a number of U.S. insurance assets after conducting a strategic review of its U.S. operations including its John Hancock business.

Manulife also said it had set a target to cut its expenses by C$1 billion by 2022. The company last week said it planned to cut 700 jobs in Canada as part of a drive to automate certain functions. It also said it would merge its Canadian headquarters into one location.

The moves are part of a drive by new Chief Executive Roy Gori to streamline the business and to run its operations more efficiently, taking advantage of new technology that can be used to automate more tasks.

Share in Manulife were down 0.3 percent at 0950 EST.

Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Susan Thomas

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