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Sumitomo Life Insurance Boosts Investment in Singapore Life Holdings

Japanese Insurer Sumitomo Life Targets Over 80% Stake in Singlife, Expanding Asian Market Presence
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Sumitomo Life Insurance, a major player in the Japanese insurance sector, announced a significant investment move, earmarking over $1 billion to increase its stake in Singapore Life Holdings (Singlife). This strategic decision underscores the insurer’s commitment to growing its presence in key Asian markets.

The investment includes the acquisition of a 35% stake in Singlife from U.S. private equity firm TPG for approximately 1.58 billion Singapore dollars ($1.19 billion). Additionally, Sumitomo Life is set to purchase a 26% interest from the U.K.’s Aviva for S$930 million, a deal announced earlier in September. These acquisitions will elevate Sumitomo Life’s stake in Singlife to over 80%, with the transactions expected to be finalized by March, pending regulatory approval.

Since its initial investment in Singlife in 2019, Sumitomo Life has been steadily increasing its share, with the ultimate goal of full ownership. Singlife, known for its innovative cloud- and app-based services, has shown impressive growth. In 2022, the company reported S$3.48 billion in gross premiums and S$14.37 billion in total assets, bolstered by the acquisition of Aviva’s Singapore operations in 2020.

Expanding its global footprint is a key component of Sumitomo Life’s current medium-term plan. The insurer is actively seeking to strengthen ties with existing affiliates and explore new acquisition opportunities, particularly in North America and Asia. This strategy aims to elevate the company’s annual core business profit from overseas operations to 100 billion yen ($700 million) in the medium term, up from around 60 billion yen in fiscal 2022.

In line with this strategy, Sumitomo Life plans to establish a local office in Singapore by April. This move will not only solidify its relationship with Singlife but also serve as a hub for Asian market research and business development.

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