TOKYO Dec 20 Sumitomo Life Insurance Co
said on Thursday it is buying HSBC Holding's
18 percent stake in Vietnamese insurer Baoviet
Holdings for about $340 million, the latest in a spate
of acquisitions by Japanese financial firms in Southeast Asia.
Faced with weak growth prospects at home and a strong yen,
Japanese banks and life insurers have stepped up their overseas
expansion efforts. For life insurers, Southeast Asia's low
insurance penetration rates and growing middle-class are a big
Under the deal, Sumitomo Life, one of Japan's top four life
insurers, will acquire the stake for about 7.1 trillion Vietnam
dong ($340.3 million). The transaction is subject to regulators'