* Manulife says exposure to Europe debt “trivial”
* Sees M&A opportunities once crisis shakes out
* Won’t raise equity, unless for big acquisition
TORONTO, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) has little exposure to the debt crisis in Europe, but the insurer will be on the lookout for acquisition opportunities if hard-hit European financials decide to sell assets, the company’s chief executive said on Wednesday.
“Thankfully, our exposure (to Europe) is trivial, absolutely trivial on the asset side,” Donald Guloien told the Barclays Capital Global Financial Services Conference in New York, monitored via the Internet.
“I think that (the crisis) is going to provide a great opportunity for us down the road ... a lot of things will go on sale,” he said.
Guloien said several European companies have substantial wealth management operations -- particularly in Asia -- that could be attractive to Manulife, which operates insurance and wealth management businesses in Canada, the United States, and Asia.
He also said Manulife had “no intention whatsoever” of raising common equity to bolster its capital position.
“Of course, if we saw a really big and exciting deal, we might raise equity that way, but I wouldn’t interested in that at today’s depressed stock prices,” he said.
Manulife is Canada’s largest insurer. (Reporting by Cameron French; editing by Rob Wilson)