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Coronavirus gives Sony's financial business new lease on life

Pandemic lowers acquisition costs and highlights benefit of being a conglomerate

TOKYO -- Sony's late co-founder Akio Morita was a visionary. Among his many visions, one that was very dear to him was creating a financial unit. He finally realized what he had once called his "30-year dream" when Sony set up a life insurance venture with a U.S. company in the late 1970s.

The venture became the core unit of Sony's financial business, which contributed greatly to group earnings. But it was later spun off as non-core and remained a separate listed entity until Sony recently decided to reacquire it after the coronavirus pandemic transformed its business environment.

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