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Meiji Yasuda likely to acquire 15% stake in Thai Life

Japan-based insurer Meiji Yasuda is planning to acquire a 15% stake in Thai Life for about $700m to expand its market in Thailand.

Meiji Yasuda is likely to make an announcement in a few weeks about the potential deal.

The deal, if finalized, would be one of the biggest investments in Asia by a Japanese insurance firm to date.

Meiji is competing against its domestic competitor Sumitomo Life, which considered acquiring a stake in Thai Life, reported the Financial Times. Sumitomo Life acquired a 20% stake in Vietnam-based life assurer Bao Viet in 2012.

About 15.3% of Thailand’s life insurance market is owned by Thai Life, which posted annualized premium equivalent of THB6.2bn ($202m) at the end of the second quarter of 2011, as reported by Thai Life Assurance Association data.

Controlled by the Thailand’s Chaiyawan family, Thai Life is being advised by Barclays, reported Reuters.