Fitch: Japanese Life Insurers Seek Overseas Growth Possibilities

(The following statement was released by the rating agency) Link to Fitch Ratings’ Report: 2016 Outlook: Japanese Life Insurance here TOKYO, December 07 (Fitch) Japanese life insurers are most likely to strengthen their insurance coverage company outside Japan in 2016 whilst accumulating foreign bond holdings to boost their investment yield, Fitch Ratings says in a new report. The Rating Outlook for Japanese life insurers has been revised to Steady from Negative, to be consistent with the Outlook for the Japan sovereign (Lengthy-Term Neighborhood-Currency Issuer Default Rating at A). This reflects the insurers’ higher concentration of Japanese government bonds (JGBs) in their investment portfolios. The Sector Outlook remains Steady due to the general improvement in earnings and sufficient capitalisation. Many Japanese significant life insurers have started to obtain sizable life insurance firms (for about JPY1.4trn in total) in created markets such as the United States and Australia, following the overseas expansion plans of The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Organization, Restricted (Insurance coverage Economic Strength (IFS) Rating A/Steady). Fitch believes this trend will continue, offered the ageing and contracting population in Japan, and will monitor any integration and governance risks from international M&A. Japan’s life insurers are likely to continue moderately accumulating foreign bonds to seek larger yield, if the very low bond yields in Japan (at about 1% for 20-year JGBs) persist. Fitch expects currency dangers (specially versus US dollar) could improve additional, if insurers raise unhedged portions. Even though the increasing allocation to foreign bonds will provide broader diversification from the concentration on JGB, currency risks want to be managed effectively given the majority of the life insurance coverage liabilities are nevertheless yen-denominated. Fitch expects the life insurers to sustain their sturdy earnings level and solid capital adequacy in 2016. The nine main traditional life insurers’ core profit was JPY1,194bn in the 1st half of the economic year ending March 2016, up from JPY1,117bn a year earlier. The nine insurers’ typical statutory solvency margin ratio was 923.5% at end-September 2015, compared with 897.7% a year earlier. The view is supported by an enhancing investment spread owing to accumulated foreign bond investments and the moderately expanding profitable “third sector” (health) insurance item businesses. The report titled “2016 Outlook: Japanese Life Insurance coverage” is obtainable at www.fitchratings.com or by clicking on the hyperlink in this media release. Make contact with: Teruki Morinaga Director +81 3 3288 2781 Fitch Ratings Japan Restricted Kojimachi Crystal City East Wing 3F 4-8 Kojimachi, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 102-0083 Akane Nishizaki Associate Director +852 2263 9942 Jeffrey Liew Senior Director +852 2263 9939 Media Relations: Wai-Lun Wan, Hong Kong, Tel: +852 2263 9935, Email: wailun.wan@fitchratings.com. Additional data is accessible on www.fitchratings.com ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE Topic TO Certain LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE Study THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS Link: here. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE Obtainable ON THE AGENCY’S PUBLIC Internet site ‘WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM’. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE Available FROM THIS Website AT ALL Occasions. FITCH’S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO Accessible FROM THE ‘CODE OF CONDUCT’ SECTION OF THIS Website. FITCH Could HAVE Offered Yet another PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS Related THIRD PARTIES. Details OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS Primarily based IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE Discovered ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY Web page FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH Web site.