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The Manulife offices on Bloor Street East in Toronto. The insurer increased a key capital measure by 19 percentage points to 248 per cent over the third quarter.
The Manulife offices on Bloor Street East in Toronto. The insurer increased a key capital measure by 19 percentage points to 248 per cent over the third quarter.
(Glenn Lowson For The Globe and Mail)

On stronger footing, insurers look at dividend hikes

Industrial Alliance became the first Canadian life insurer to increase its dividend since the before the financial crisis on Thursday, just one of many signs that capital strength has returned to the sector.

As the major lifecos reported earnings this week, Industrial Alliance surprised investors not only by posting earnings that beat expectations, but also by raising its quarterly payout by 6 per cent to 26 cents a share. While some analysts had forecast the insurer would return capital to shareholders this year, the move outpaced most expectations.