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Jul 31, 2015

Top Japan banks beat profit estimates on stock market gains, overseas lending

TOKYO, July 31 (Reuters) – Japan’s top banks posted on
Friday higher first-quarter profits that exceeded expectations
as strong domestic equity markets boosted their brokerage
businesses and drove gains from stock holdings.

Their overseas lending businesses also contributed to
profit growth, but bank executives are saying they see signs of
a slowdown in loan demand in Asia as the region has started to
feel the pain of China’s slowing economy.

Jul 24, 2015

Japan’s Meiji Yasuda to buy U.S. insurer StanCorp for $5 bln

TOKYO, July 24 (Reuters) – Japan’s Meiji Yasuda Life
Insurance Co said on Friday it has agreed to buy
U.S.-based StanCorp Financial Group Inc for $5 billion,
the latest multi-billion deal by acquisitive Japanese insurers.

More purchases are likely as other big Japanese life
insurers have said they are also looking to expand in the
world’s largest market and elsewhere, in an effort to grow
outside their home market where the population is shrinking.

Jun 30, 2015

GE to sell European private equity financing unit to SMBC

TOKYO (Reuters) – General Electric Co (GE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said it would sell its European private equity financing business to a unit of Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp (SMBC) for about $2.2 billion as the U.S. conglomerate sheds financial assets amid a restructuring.

The portfolio represents about $2.2 billion of total invested capital, GE said on Tuesday.

Jun 26, 2015

Government postpones Japan Post board appointment of ex-Toshiba exec

TOKYO, June 26 (Reuters) – Japan Post Holdings Co Ltd
(IPO-JAPP.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Friday said the government has postponed the
appointment to its board of a former Toshiba Corp
executive, pending the outcome of a probe into accounting
practices at the electronics maker.

Fumio Muraoka, a former senior executive vice president of
Toshiba, was to be appointed an outside director at state-owned
Japan Post on Friday, but the communications ministry on its
website said it would withhold its approval for the time being.

Jun 23, 2015

Battle looms over deposit cap for Japan Post Bank pre-IPO

TOKYO (Reuters) – Lawmakers from Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) have proposed tripling deposit limits on Japan Post’s banking unit to 30 million yen ($242,800) per account, as the state-owned group prepares to go public later this year.

Tuesday’s proposal sets up a tussle among competing groups over the fate of Japan Post Bank’s $1.45 trillion in deposits, as politicians backed by the nearly 20,000 local post masters clash with private banks who fear an even larger behemoth and the financial regulator worried about the health of the major bank before its share offering.

Jun 16, 2015

Japan insurers expand foreign bond portfolio in search for yield

TOKYO, June 16 (Reuters) – Japanese life insurers are
investing in the sovereign bonds of emerging countries such as
Poland and Mexico, as ultra-low interest rates in Japan and
other developed markets hurt yields.

The top four insurers – with a combined securities portfolio
worth $1 trillion – have invested the bulk of their funds in
Japanese government bonds (JGBs) and major sovereigns, but
massive monetary easing in Japan and the euro zone have forced
them to break with their traditionally conservative stance.

Jun 10, 2015

Tokio Marine to buy HCC Insurance for $7.5 bln

TOKYO, June 10 (Reuters) – Tokio Marine Holdings Inc
said on Wednesday it had agreed to buy U.S. specialty
insurer HCC Insurance Holdings Inc for $7.5 billion, in
what would be the biggest M&A deal this year by a Japanese
company.

Tokio Marine, Japan’s biggest insurer by market value,
expects to complete the acquisition between October and
December, it said in a statement.

Jun 10, 2015

Dai-ichi Life wants bigger Indonesia presence but won’t bid for BRI unit

TOKYO (Reuters) – Dai-ichi Life Co (8750.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Japan’s second-largest life insurer, is keen to further build its presence in Indonesia but is not interested in bidding for a stake in Bank Rakyat Indonesia’s (BRI) (BBRI.JK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) insurance unit, its president said.

Dai-ichi Life bought 40 percent of Indonesia’s Panin Life for about $250 million in 2013 – part of a two-pronged M&A strategy that seeks to sow the seeds of future growth in Asia as well as tap developed markets like the United States for more immediate profit contribution.

Jun 7, 2015

Japanese firms pay high price for Asia M&A spree: Tokio Marine president

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese firms have been so busy paying top dollar in overseas acquisitions that sellers looking to offload assets in Asia now expect them to pay over the odds, according to the head of the country’s biggest insurer, Tokio Marine Holdings Inc (8766.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Drive by a need to diversify exposure to natural disasters geographically, Tokio Marine president Tsuyoshi Nagano said his firm is still scouring markets around the world, including Latin America, for acquisition prospects. With insurers among the most acquisitive Japanese companies, Tokio Marine alone has spent more than $8 billion on international deals since 2008.

Jun 7, 2015

Japanese firms pay high price for Asia M&A spree -Tokio Marine pres

TOKYO, June 7 (Reuters) – Japanese firms have been so busy
paying top dollar in overseas acquisitions that sellers looking
to offload assets in Asia now expect them to pay over the odds,
according to the head of the country’s biggest insurer, Tokio
Marine Holdings Inc.

Drive by a need to diversify exposure to natural disasters
geographically, Tokio Marine president Tsuyoshi Nagano said his
firm is still scouring markets around the world, including Latin
America, for acquisition prospects. With insurers among the most
acquisitive Japanese companies, Tokio Marine alone has spent
more than $8 billion on international deals since 2008.