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Weekly news through April 14


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Weekly news through April 14

Nippon Life/Mitsui Life dealfaces court challenge:Singapore's TIHT Investment Holdings Pte. wants the Tokyo District Court to review 'stakeover offer for its shares in Mitsui Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

TIHTInvestment said the offer was too low at ¥560 per share, when Mitsui Lifeshould have been valued at ¥1,746 per share.

NipponLife had in December 2015 completed its tender offer for the shares of MitsuiLife, resulting in a shareholding of more than 96%. Japanese regulations allowa shareholder with more than 90% holdings to buy the remaining shares in acompany.

Overseas partnerships andinvestments:Sompo Japan Nipponkoa HoldingsInc. is said to be nearing a bancassurance agreement worth around US$200million with Malaysia's CIMBGroup Holdings Bhd.

Thedeal will allow the Japanese insurer to distribute its general insuranceproducts through the Malaysian bank's branches across Asia for a period of morethan 10 years.

Australia'sMacquarie Group reportedly planning to invest an initial US$50 million in the Philippines'insurance sector. The group has readied the funds, which will be used to eitherlend to or make a co-equity investment with foreign institutions looking forM&A in the country.

Meanwhile,Thailand's KASIKORNBANKPCL said its units Muang Thai Life Assurance PCL and in jointventure ST-Muang Thai Insurance Co. Ltd. to conduct life and general insurancebusiness in Laos. Muang Thai Life Assurance agreed to invest 3.20 billion Laokip in the joint venture.

Other M&A updates: 'splan to sell Hong Kong's Dah SingLife Assurance Co. Ltd. is attracting Shanghai-based real estatefirm Future Land Development, which is reportedly making a US$1 billion bid forthe insurer, the South China Morning Postreported.

FutureLand Development Vice President Kenny Chan said many of the company's customersare turning to Hong Kong to buy insurance, but declined to comment on whetherthe company is making an offer for the Hong Kong insurer. Chan, however, saidselling insurance products to Chinese clients would create synergy for thegroup.

Thesecond-round bidding for Dah Sing Life Assurance has also attracted otherfirms, including another Chinese property firm Country Garden.

Inaddition, Canada's Sun LifeFinancial Inc. increased its stake in India-based joint ventureBirla Sun Life Insurance Co. 49% from 26%.

The following is a breakdownof articles by region, based on the geographic origins of stories.


*Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co.Ltd. has created a new entity which will its domestic life insurancebusiness. Dai-ichi Life Split Preparation Co. Ltd. was incorporated April 1 andwas created in line with the group's transition into a holding company.

*Sompo Japan Nipponkoa issued US$220 million of four-year catastrophe bondscovering typhoon-related losses in Japan. The notes would allow the insurer forpay for exceptionally large damages caused by typhoons.

*Taiwan's China Life Insurance Co.Ltd. reported first-quarter net profit of NT$2.69 billion amid strong new businessstrain and appreciation of the local currency. EPS for the quarter ended March31 reached 81 cents, the company said.


*Life Insurance Corp. ofIndia partnered with Small Industries Development Bank of India to boostefforts to fund startups in the country. LIC will contribute up to 10% of theIndia Aspiration Fund, which was established with a capital of 20 billionrupees.

*Rating agency ICRA expects India's life insurance sector to record growth ofabout 12% to 15% in the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the InsuranceAsia News reported.ICRA calculated the annual premium equivalent of the country's nine lifeinsurance companies for the nine-month period of fiscal 2015-2016. During thatperiod, the combined annual premium equivalent of the insurers increased 6%year over year, as opposed to a contraction of 9% in the prior-year period. Thenine insurers' annual premium equivalent represented more than 87% of total inthe industry.


*Tokio Marine Life InsuranceSingapore Ltd. CEO Lance Tay will leave the company May 31 topursue other priorities, The StraitsTimes reported,citing a memo from the company. Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore confirmedthe report and said it has found a new CEO who will start June 1. The name ofthe new CEO will be released in a separate announcement.

* XLCatlin's insurance segment appointed David Guest as country manager for Singapore.Guest is the company's regional leader for crisis management insurance in Asia-Pacific.


*The Reserve Bank of NewZealand plans to review the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act, orIPSA, to make sure that the "legislation and associated regulations areworking as intended." The review comes five years after the act tookeffect. The central bank will release an issues paper in late 2016.

*Insurance Australia GroupLtd. appointed Jane Merrick as general manager of marketingand customer experience for its Australian consumer division. Merrick was headof marketing for IAG's personal insurance division.

Featured on SNL

: Chinese firms'seemingly never-ending appetite for mergers and acquisitions in overseasmarkets drove deal talks in March, as a number of potential deals surfaced inthe insurance space in the Asia-Pacific region. In what may herald a fresh waveof overseas acquisitions, Chinese firms from insurers to banks to energy firmsare looking abroad for potential targets amid a slowing domestic economy and apush from the government to boost overseas trade.