Sumitomo Life Insurance Co., Mitsui Life Insurance Co. and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. said Tuesday they will jointly set up a new company to operate outlets to sell insurance products.

The new firm, which will sell products from the two life insurers as well as from more than 10 insurance companies in and outside Japan, will be established July 19, the three said.

The joint venture’s first outlet will open in the Tokyo area in October, they said.

The move came as competition among Japan’s life insurers intensifies due to the market’s expansion, especially in such fields as medical and nursing insurance and annuity insurance.

The three companies hope to nurture the planned outlets as a major sales route in addition to the current mainstay door-to-door sales by sales staff, company officials said.

The trilateral alliance could strengthen the relationship between Sumitomo Life and Mitsui Life.

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc., the holding company of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, has already merged banking and nonlife insurance businesses.

Mainly targeting housewives in their 30s and 40s, the joint venture will eventually increase the number of outlets to around 10 in shopping malls and railway station complexes.

The firm will be capitalized at 500 million yen, with Sumitomo Life and Mitsui Life each putting up 47.5 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking supplying the remaining 5 percent.

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