Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Japanese insurers boost project financing

Japanese insurers are now starting to figure strongly in project finance markets, crafting their own lending teams and significantly boosting liquidity.

For one, Japan’s largest private insurer Nippon Life Insurance set up a structured finance department on April 1 that will look into investment opportunities in domestic and global project financing mainly aimed at driving greater returns.

Nippon Life aims to invest ¥1.5 trillion (US$13.77 billion) in growth areas, including onshore and offshore project finance, during the next four years, according to Shinji Kuge, who heads the 12-man department.

The present negative interest rate policy in Japan is hurting many companies’ returns. Kuge said the firm will embark on activities outside the country in an attempt to strengthen its revenue generation.

Compared to its rivals, Nippon Life has a larger appetite and can invest up to ¥10 billion per offshore project, said Kuge.

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