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Japan-Update

SoftBank in talks with Swiss Re for minority stake

Deal could be worth $10bn but negotiations at 'very early stage'

Japanese telecom giant SoftBank Group is reportedly in talks to acquire a one-third stake in Swiss Re for as much as $10 billion yen.   © Reuters

Japanese telecom giant SoftBank Group is in talks with Swiss Re to acquire a one-third stake in the Swiss reinsurer for as much as $10 billion or more, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Swiss Re's top management recently visited Japan and met with SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son, the report said.

Following the report, Swiss Re issued a statement the same day saying the discussions are at a "very early stage, adding: "There is no certainty that any transaction will be agreed, nor as to the terms, timing, or form of any transaction.

A SoftBank spokesman declined to comment.

Swiss Re is the world's second-largest reinsurer, with total assets of $224 billion as of the end of June. Reinsurance is insurance policies for insurers designed to minimize their possible losses in cases of disaster. Insurers can transfer the risk of large losses by paying premiums to reinsurers.

SoftBank set up a 10 trillion yen ($91.4 billion) investment vehicle called the SoftBank Vision Fund in 2016. It is yet unknown whether SoftBank Group itself or the investment fund will buy the Swiss Re stake.

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