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Meiji Yasuda angling for 15% of Thai insurer

Kyodo

Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co. is in the final stages of talks to acquire a 15 percent stake in Thai Life Insurance Co. in what would be one of the biggest investments ever in Asia by a Japanese life insurer, sources said Wednesday.

With the planned investment worth about ¥70 billion, Meiji Yasuda wants to make the major Thai insurer into an equity-method affiliate and dispatch executives, the sources said.

The deal is expected to be finalized before the end of the month, with Meiji Yasuda planning to provide the Thai firm with know-how in insurance product development and marketing at bank counters, they said.

Like other Japanese insurers, Meiji Yasuda is looking to expand overseas earnings, especially in Asia, amid sluggish business at home due to the aging of society.

Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. has made a ¥28 billion investment in Vietnam’s top insurance group, while Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. in June announced a ¥34.3 billion investment in Indonesia.