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3 major life insurers post April-June profit growth

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Three of Japan’s four major life insurers posted year-on-year growth in their core business profits in April-June, thanks chiefly to higher interest income from foreign bonds amid the yen’s depreciation, their consolidated earnings reports showed Wednesday.

The three were Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc., Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co. and Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. The only exception was Nippon Life Insurance Co.

All four suffered declines in insurance premium and other revenues, mainly due to effects from lower interest rates stemming from the Bank of Japan’s negative interest rate policy introduced in February 2016.

Sumitomo Life was hit by a 20.3 percent revenue plunge.

The three except Nippon Life saw their profits increase on the back of higher latent profits on shareholdings that reflected rises in stock prices.

Core business profit shot up 84.3 percent to ¥144.1 billion at Dai-ichi Life, thanks to a reversal of liability reserves set aside for future insurance benefit payments following the stock market buoyancy.

Meiji Yasuda Life logged a core business profit of ¥103.7 billion, up 19.4 percent. A U.S. life insurer acquired in March 2016 contributed to the growth.

Sumitomo Life’s profit jumped 61.8 percent to ¥69.1 billion.

By contrast, Nippon Life saw its core profit decline 1.0 percent to ¥142 billion, mainly because of an accounting rule change for profits from foreign currency-denominated products.

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