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Monday, 26th January 2009
In Business In Japan,

Japanese insurers 'to merge'

Three Japanese insurance firms have announced they intend to merge into a single entity, it has emerged.

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group Holdings is the largest of the providers entering the merger, along with Aioi Insurance and Nissay Down General Insurance.

The merger, which is due to take place in 2010, will bring together Japan's second, fourth and sixth-largest insurance firms in terms of premiums.

Mitsui Sumitomo's president Toshiaki Egashira is quoted by Kyodo News as saying that the business environment is "very severe".

The three companies have set up a committee to discuss the details of the merger, such as terms, conditions and a neutral name for the merged entity.

In related news, Allianz Life Insurance has suspended sales of new insurance in Japan as a result of the credit crisis.

The company also said it has no plans to cut staffing numbers.