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Banking & Finance

Mitsui Sumitomo bows out of Chinese life insurance

Japanese insurer to unload stake in local partner, citing strategic differences

TOKYO -- Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance said Tuesday it will sell its interest in a Chinese life insurer, a move that will take the Japanese company out of the Chinese life insurance market.

The MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings unit plans to sell its 2.09% stake in Sinatay Life Insurance this fiscal year, likely for around 3.5 billion yen ($29.6 million). Chinese authorities approved the transaction Dec. 16.

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance invested roughly 2.4 billion yen in Hangzhou-based Sinatay in 2010. The Japanese insurer sent a part-time director to Sinatay's board and supplied know-how on product development and asset management. The Japanese insurer decided to end the alliance over differences between the strategy being pursued by Sinatay, which is looking to invest in real estate, and Mitsui Sumitomo's own preference for limiting risk.

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance will continue its casualty insurance operations in China through a wholly owned subsidiary and an alliance with China Pacific Insurance (Group).

(Nikkei)

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