(Corrects "the Middle East" in the second paragraph to "Central
and Eastern Europe")
TOKYO Aug 6 Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co is
looking for an acquisition opportunity in the United States in
addition to emerging markets such as Southeast Asia, a top
executive at the Japanese insurer said on Wednesday.
"Our main targets are growth markets such as Southeast Asia,
Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America," Meiji Yasuda
Deputy President Hiroaki Tonooka told Reuters in an interview.
"But these areas take time (to make profit contributions). So we
are also looking at developed markets including North America,"
Japanese life insurance companies have been actively buying
stakes in Asian insurers, but their investments have been
limited to minority stakes. Last year, Meiji Yasuda agreed to
buy a 15 percent stake in Thai Life.
Tonooka said Meiji Yasuda would consider buying a majority
stake in future overseas M&A deals now that it has acquired
experience and knowledge about management of insurers in other
The company has said it can use up to 250 billion yen ($2.4
billion) for overseas acquisitions during the three years
through March 2017.
(1 US dollar = 102.5000 Japanese yen)
(Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; editing by Chris Gallagher)