Mitsui Marine may support NCB

Mitsui Marine & Fire Insurance Co. is leaning toward complying with a request from Nippon Credit Bank for new capital to support its restructuring efforts, the president of the nonlife insurer said April 17.

Takeo Inokuchi, who is also chairman of the Marine & Fire Insurance Association of Japan, told a news conference that the collapse of a financial institution as large as NCB would have an adverse effect on the stability of the entire financial system. NCB has called on some of the larger banks and insurance firms to put up new capital for the bank as it carries out its restructuring scheme and writes off its nonperforming loans.

As part of this plan, insurance firms have been asked to convert a portion of their subordinate loans to NCB into stock. “The issue (of assisting NCB) is not one to be decided by the association as a whole, but speaking for my firm, we are considering the matter from the stance of helping rebuild NCB,” Inokuchi said.