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Aug 7, 2015

JGBs now less than half of Japan Post Bank’s $1.7 trln portfolio

TOKYO, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Japan Post Holdings Co (IPO-JAPP.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)
said on Friday its banking unit reduced its holdings of Japanese
government bonds (JGBs) to just under half of its $1.7 trillion
portfolio in the quarter that ended June as it seeks more
profitable investments.

JGBs accounted for 49.2 percent – or 101.6 trillion yen
($814.2 billion) – of Japan Post Bank’s portfolio, down from
51.8 percent at end-March, Japan Post said in its quarterly
earnings statement.

Aug 6, 2015

MUFG is first foreign bank to make Myanmar local currency loan -source

TOKYO, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group’s
core banking unit has become the first foreign lender
in Myanmar to extend a local currency loan, a person with
knowledge of the matter said, a sign that strong loan demand in
the fast-growing economy is likely to be better met.

Crippled by decades of mismanagement under military regimes
and cut off from much of the world due to Western sanctions,
Myanmar’s domestic banking sector remains ill-equipped to
provide services to local citizens, let alone global companies.

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

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.