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.
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