Daily Management Review

In Push For Overseas Growth, Japan's Dai-Ichi Life Eyes Cambodia, U.S.


04/12/2017




Placed in line with the firm's strategy to boost overseas growth as investment returns diminish at home, Japan's Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc plans to expand its U.S. presence and also plans to start a life insurance business in Cambodia in 2018, its president said.
 
yields on Japanese government bonds have been driven down as with massive stimulus measures, aimed at spurring inflation, Life insurers in Japan have been hit by lower returns. While Dai-ichi - the country's No.2 private-sector insurer - has turned to foreign markets over the past few years to prop up its business, several insurers have effectively stopped buying JGBs.
 
A 40 percent stake in Indonesia's PT Panin Life for about $248 million in 2013 was acquired by Dai-ichi, which currently has 50 trillion yen ($449 billion) in assets.

It bought Protective Life Corp of the United States for $5.6 billion in 2015. It runs life insurance businesses in Thailand and Vietnam in the Mekong region. It opened a representative office in Myanmar last month and in Cambodia in July last year.
 
"We see the Mekong region as the next emerging market, where we can utilize know-how acquired in Asia," Seiji Inagaki, who became president of Dai-ichi this month, said in an interview. He added that either on its own or through a joint venture, Dai-ichi will start the life insurance business in Cambodia very soon.
 
Targeting businesses and insurance contracts from rivals, the company was also looking for acquisition opportunities in the United States - the world's largest life insurance market - through Protective Life, Inagaki said.
 
Contrary to what some market sources were expecting, the insurer is not keenly looking for deals in Europe and other regions, including Turkey, he said.
 
"Our priority is the United States and the Mekong region. So the timing will be a little bit away" for Europe and other regions, Inagaki said.
 
Inagaki, 53, joined Dai-ichi in 1986. the team managing the company's initial public offering in 2010 was headed by him. Dai-ichi is the only listed company among the country's four biggest life insurers.
 
(Source:www.reuters.com) 






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