BOSTON, Feb. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- John Hancock Financial Opportunities Fund, formerly known as John Hancock Bank and Thrift Opportunity Fund (NYSE: BTO) (the "Fund"), a John Hancock Closed-End Fund, announced today that it entered into a credit facility ("Credit Facility") with Bank of America, N.A., a subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation. This comes after a special meeting of shareholders held on January 18, 2013, at which shareholders approved an amendment to the Fund's fundamental investment restriction to permit the Fund to engage in leverage by borrowing.
Under the Credit Facility, the Fund will have the ability to borrow up to $110 million from Bank of America, N.A. The Credit Facility will provide the Fund with flexibility to use the proceeds of borrowed money to take advantage of market opportunities by investing in additional portfolio securities. The Fund's utilization of the Credit Facility is expected to be implemented over time. Additional information regarding the Credit Facility, as well as the Fund's use of borrowings, will be disclosed in the Fund's next semi-annual shareholder report for the six months ending April 30, 2013.
Bank of America Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides various banking and financial products and services to individual consumers, small-and middle-market businesses, institutional investors, corporations, and governments in the United States and internationally.
In addition to the implementation of leverage, over the past six months the Board of Trustees has implemented other important initiatives designed to enhance shareholder value, including a 30% increase in the annualized distribution rate from 5.0% of the Fund's net asset value to 6.5% of the Fund's net asset value under the Fund's managed distribution plan (the "Plan") and amending the Fund's 80% investment policy to provide the investment team with greater flexibility to take advantage of market opportunities by investing in a broader range of financial services companies.
Distributions under the Plan may consist of net investment income, net realized long-term capital gains, net realized short-term capital gains and, to the extent necessary, return of capital. The Fund may at times distribute more than its net investment income and net realized capital gains; therefore, a portion of the distribution may result in a return of capital. A return of capital may occur, for example, when some or all of the money that shareholders invested in the Fund are paid back to them. A return of capital does not necessarily reflect the Fund's investment performance and should not be confused with "yield" or "income." Although the Fund has adopted the Plan, it may discontinue the Plan.
Statements in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined by the United States securities laws. You should exercise caution in interpreting and relying on forward-looking statements because they are subject to uncertainties and other factors which are, in some cases, beyond the Fund's control and could cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.
An investor should consider the Fund's investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing.
About John Hancock Funds
The Boston-based mutual fund business unit of John Hancock Financial, John Hancock Funds, manages more than $77.9 billion in open-end funds, closed-end funds, private accounts, retirement plans and related party assets for individual and institutional investors at September 30, 2012.
About John Hancock Financial and Manulife Financial Corporation
John Hancock Financial is a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 22 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and in most of Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, Manulife Financial Corporation 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$515 billion (US$523 billion) at September 30, 2012.
Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at www.manulife.com.
The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers a broad range of financial products and services, including life insurance, annuities, fixed products, mutual funds, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at www.johnhancock.com.
SOURCE John Hancock Funds
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