Bet on Asia With This Dividend Stock

Manulife Financial (TSX:MFC)(NYSE:MFC) is a Toronto-based Canadian life insurer, the largest of the big three in the country. It also provides financial services products to its customers. Shares of Manulife have climbed 14.5% in 2019 as of close on February 21.

The company released its fourth-quarter and full-year results on February 13. Once gain its Asia-based growth proved to be a key driver for earnings. Core earnings rose 23% year-over-year to $5.6 billion in 2018.

Manulife achieved 19% growth in new business value in its Asia segment, reaching $1.1 billion for the full year.

Asia APE sales rose to $4.01 billion in 2018 compared to $975 million and $553 million in APE sales in the Canadian and US sectors.

Manulife should continue to draw solid growth from this sector going forward, barring any major shake ups in trade relationships. However, this seems highly unlikely even in the current environment.

Manulife last paid out a quarterly dividend of $0.25 per share. This represents a solid 4.1% yield. The company has achieved dividend-growth for five consecutive years.

Insurers and wealth management companies have pushed aggressively into Asia in order to take advantage of burgeoning middle-class growth. Manulife will continue to reap the rewards of these trends into the next decade.

However, as it stands as of this writing Manulife has an RSI of 69. This falls just shy of overbought territory, so investors may want to await a pullback before adding the stock right now.