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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.

May 29, 2015

Japan Post says to drastically change investment strategy

May 29 (Reuters) – Japan Post Holdings (IPO-JAPP.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the
world’s biggest holder of Japanese government bonds after Bank
of Japan, said on Friday that it will significantly alter its
investment strategy as the state-owned group revamps its $2.4
trillion portfolio.

Japan Post President Taizo Nishimuro told a regular news
conference that he met with Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko
Kuroda last week and told him that “we will greatly change how
we manage the investment of JGBs.”

May 28, 2015

Japan’s Shinsei bank says interested in GE Capital’s Asia-Pacific assets

TOKYO, May 29 (Reuters) – Japan’s Shinsei Bank Ltd
is interested in GE Capital’s Asia-Pacific operations, its
president said, as the mid-sized lender tries to grow its
business into niche markets to stave off competition from bigger
rivals.

In April, General Electric Co said it would shed most
of its finance unit as part of a restructuring. GE Capital’s
Japanese commercial finance operations are part of the sale,
people familiar with the matter told Reuters earlier, with one
person valuing the assets at around $5 billion.

May 15, 2015

Japan’s top lenders boost shareholder returns after upbeat earnings

TOKYO, May 15 (Reuters) – Japan’s top banks are stepping up
dividend payments after reporting better-than-forecast earnings,
responding to calls for bigger shareholder returns.

Japanese companies are under intense investor scrutiny
lately to justify how their earnings are utilized, and have been
criticised for hoarding too much cash. Prime Minister Shinzo
Abe’s economic growth initiatives are putting additional
pressure, as they try to stimulate money flow among businesses
and households through more spending, investment and wage hikes.

May 15, 2015

Mizuho posts better-than-forecast profit, raises dividend

TOKYO, May 15 (Reuters) – Mizuho Financial Group Inc
reported on Friday a smaller than forecast 11 percent
fall in annual profit, helped by a strong stock market and its
overseas expansion.

The bank raised its annual dividend to 7.5 yen per share for
the year ended in March, from 7 yen it had said previously,
responding to investor demand for higher shareholder returns.