UPDATE 1-Japan's Dai-ichi to buy 40 pct in Indonesia's Panin Life -source

Fri May 24, 2013 4:44am EDT

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(Adds details, Dai-ichi no comment)

By Taiga Uranaka

TOKYO May 24 (Reuters) - Japan's Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co Ltd has agreed to buy a 40 percent stake in Indonesia's Panin Life for about 30 billion yen ($295 million), a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Friday.

The move by one of Japan's top four life insurers is the latest in a string of deals by increasingly acquisitive Japanese firms in the fast-growing region.

Dai-ichi has been in talks with owner PT Panin Financial Tbk to buy a minority stake in its life insurance unit.

The announcement of the deal is likely to take several more days as the parties are yet to work out regulatory details among other matters, said the source, who declined to be named because the talks are confidential.

Pressure to break into new markets is especially heavy on Dai-ichi Life, the only listed company among Japan's big four life insurance companies. It was one of the bidders for ING Groep NV's insurance operations in Southeast Asia last year, but did not succeed in bagging the assets.

Dai-ichi is also among the companies that have bid for a controlling stake in the life insurance unit of Malaysian lender AMMB Holdings Bhd, another source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters earlier this month.

A Dai-ichi Life spokesman declined to comment. ($1 = 101.4350 Japanese yen) (Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Shinichi Saoshiro and Daniel Magnowski)

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