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JOHN HANCOCK MUTUAL FUNDS LAUNCHES NEW INTERNATIONAL STOCK FUND

 BOSTON, Jan. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- John Hancock Mutual Funds has kicked off 1994 by introducing today a new international stock fund.
 John Hancock Freedom International Fund, which seeks long-term capital growth by investing primarily in foreign stocks, is being launched at a time when international funds have moved up strongly. In 1993, for example, international stock funds were among the top-performing groups with an average total return of roughly 38 percent, according to Lipper Analytical Services.
 Despite last year's strong performance, the Fund's management team firmly believes that international markets still offer tremendous opportunities. "We're still in the first few innings of the game," says David S. Beckwith, a member of the portfolio management team. "With global recessions lifting and trade alliances like NAFTA and GATT in the works, international markets should provide some of the most promising investments for the rest of the 1990s."
 Beckwith also points out that with roughly 65 percent of the world's stock market capitalization outside of the U.S., most investors should keep a portion of their portfolios in international investments. Diversifying across world markets not only gives investors access to the best-performing markets, but reduces the volatility of their overall portfolios.
 In picking stocks for the Fund, the management team starts with an emphasis on companies with above-average earnings growth, strong managements, healthy balance sheets and the ability to capitalize on changing economic conditions. Then, the team overlays their view of how a particular country or region will do, factoring in political and economic prospects as well as market fundamentals.
 John Hancock Freedom International Fund offers Class A shares with a maximum front-end sales charge of 5.00% and Class B shares with a maximum deferred sales charge of 5.00%. The Fund's minimum initial investment is $1,000 for regular accounts and $500 for individual retirement accounts.
 John Hancock Mutual Funds manages more than $9 billion in stock, bond and money market assets for investors nationwide.
 -0- 1/3/94
 /CONTACT: Bill Benintende, 617-375-1883, or Renee Lynch, 617-375-6807, both of John Hancock Mutual Funds/


CO: John Hancock Mutual Funds ST: Massachusetts IN: FIN SU: PDT

CM-JL -- NE003 -- 8458 01/03/94 10:43 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 3, 1994
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