Rakuten Announces Entry into Nonlife Insurance Market (News)


Tokyo, Jan. 29 (Jiji Press)—Major Japanese cybermall operator Rakuten Inc. said Monday it will acquire nonlife insurer Asahi Fire & Marine Insurance Co. for some ¥45 billion, marking its entry into the nonlife insurance services market.

Rakuten hopes to take full control of the nonlife insurer, a unit of brokerage giant Nomura Holdings Inc., by summer this year through a tender offer.

By utilizing data from over 90 million Rakuten member customers, the group aims to develop nonlife insurance products that are different from the current offerings of other nonlife insurers.

Rakuten is attempting to create a Rakuten economic bloc as part of its strategy to retain customers within services provided by its group companies, led by cybermall operations, giving shopping points in line with purchase amounts.

Facing fierce competition with such rivals as Yahoo Japan Corp. and US e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc, Rakuten has increased its reward point rate, leading to a drop in its profit margins.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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