Dai-Ichi Life Said to Near $350 Million Panin Life Investment

Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. is near an agreement to buy a stake in PT Panin Financial Tbk’s life insurance unit for about $350 million, said people with knowledge of the matter.

The deal for a 40 percent stake in Panin Life may be signed as early as next week, two of the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

Lured by the region’s growth potential, buyers including Prudential Plc and Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. have snapped up more than $6.6 billion of insurance assets in Southeast Asia over the past two years, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Dai-ichi plans to spend about $3 billion on overseas purchases in the next two years, managing executive officer Hideo Teramoto said this month.

Yasufumi Maruyama, a spokesman for Dai-ichi Life, declined to comment. Panin Financial Corporate Secretary Dony Sianipar wasn’t immediately available when called at his office.

Japan’s saturated market is spurring insurers including Dai-ichi to look overseas for new customers. The company said this month that it expects profit to rise 14 percent this fiscal year, compared with a 59 percent jump in the 12 months through March.

Sumitomo Life and Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co. made final bids for a minority stake in closely held Thai Life Insurance Pcl, Thailand’s second-largest life insurer, people with knowledge of the matter said this week. Prudential, the U.K.’s biggest insurer by market value, said in November that it would buy the life insurance business of Thailand’s Thanachart Bank Pcl for as much as 368 million pounds ($560 million).

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