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Japanese insurers post profit growth; China issues new disclosure rules

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of insurance news stories and more published throughout the week. Please note that some entries may have links to third-party sources that may require a subscription.

Earnings corner

* Japanese and Taiwanese insurers reported increases in net profits for their fiscal-year and quarterly periods, while insurers in South Korea saw decreases in profits for the quarter ended March 31.

* Japanese insurers T&D Holdings Inc., Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc., Sony Life Insurance Co. Ltd. and Japan Post Insurance Co. Ltd. reported year-over-year increases in their respective net earnings for the fiscal year ended March 31.

* Taiwan's Fubon Life Insurance Co. Ltd. said net profit for the quarter ended March 31 more than doubled to NT$9.29 billion from NT$4.01 billion in the year-ago period.

* Separately, Cathay Life Insurance Co. Ltd.'s first-quarter net income surged 226% year over year to NT$16.73 billion from NT$5.13 billion.

* On the other hand, South Korea's Hanwha Life Insurance Co. Ltd. reported a 36.6% decline in net income for the quarter ended March 31. Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance Co. Ltd. and Samsung Life Insurance Co. Ltd. also reported decreases in their profits for the same quarter.

Rule changes, other developments

* The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission issued a set of new disclosure rules that require local insurers to reveal their actual controlling entities from July 1.

* The Chinese government will reportedly start easing rules on foreign ownership in local insurance companies "in the near future" to allow foreign investors to take up to 51% of a joint equity life insurance company.

* South Korea's Financial Supervisory Service finalized sanctions on Anbang Insurance Group Co. Ltd. unit TONGYANG Life Insurance Co. Ltd. in connection with a loan fraud case.

* Advisory and investment firm KordaMentha recommended that New Zealand-based CBL Corp. Ltd. be placed into liquidation. KordaMentha was appointed as CBL's voluntary administrator.

In other news

* China's program to widen foreign access to its financial sector continues to draw applications from foreign investors, including FWD Life Insurance Co. (Bermuda) Ltd. and Germany's Allianz Group.

* Dai-ichi Life Holdings acquired a 39.62% stake in Union Bank of India unit Union Asset Management Co. Pvt. Ltd. The insurer also completed the proposed acquisition of shares in U.K.-based asset manager Janus Henderson Group PLC, making the latter its affiliate.

* Mirae Asset Life Insurance Co. Ltd. launched Mirae Asset Prévoir Life Insurance Co. Ltd. in Hanoi as its Vietnamese unit, building on the operations of Prévoir Vietnam Life Insurance Company Ltd.

* Japan's Toa Reinsurance Co. Ltd. is planning to launch a new underwriting platform in Switzerland to enable writing European third-party business.

* Bank of Kathmandu Ltd. and Gurans Life Insurance Co. Ltd. have reportedly entered into a bancassurance agreement to offer the insurer's life policies from the bank's 79 branches.

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