7 of 9 Major Japan Life Insurers Post Lower 1st-Half Profits

Economy

Tokyo, Nov. 23 (Jiji Press)--Seven of nine major Japanese life insurance firms posted lower core business profits for the April-September fiscal first half from a year earlier, as they were hurt by low interest rates.

Low interest rates worldwide made foreign currency-denominated insurance products less attractive. In addition, some of the insurers faced difficulties in investment due to a strong yen as well as low interest rates.

Nippon Life Insurance Co.'s core profit fell 11.9 pct to 360.9 billion yen, while that of Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc. <8750> decreased 15.9 pct to 259.1 billion yen. They saw interest revenue from foreign bond holdings shrink due to the yen's strength.

Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance Co. posted a core profit of 38.4 billion yen, down 18.4 pct, as it struggled with high costs due to increased hiring of sales personnel.

The four other insurers that reported lower profits are Japan Post Insurance Co. <7181>, Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co., Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. and Sony Life Insurance Co.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press