Meiji Yasuda Life raising stake in Indonesia's Avrist

TOKYO Wed May 9, 2012 7:54am BST

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TOKYO May 9 (Reuters) - Japan's Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co said on Wednesday it has agreed to raise its stake in PT Avrist Assurance of Indonesia to 23 percent from 5 percent to tap the growing Southeast Asian market.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a source familiar with the deal said Meiji Yasuda is likely to buy the 18 percent stake for about 8 billion yen ($100.3 million).

Meiji Yasuda, Japan's third-largest private life insurer, is stepping up its overseas expansion amid weak growth prospects at home.

Meiji Yasuda forged a capital alliance with Germany's third-biggest insurer, Talanx, in 2010 by buying a 300 million euro ($384 million) convertible bond issued by it. The tie-up is aimed at jointly pursuing growth opportunities in central and eastern Europe.

In Asia, Meiji Yasuda has said it would seek acquisition opportunities on its own.

Avrist, with total assets of 10.4 trillion rupiah ($1.13 billion), is the eighth-largest life insurance company in Indonesia, Meiji Yasuda said.

Indonesia's foreign ownership cap is 80 percent, leaving room for Meiji Yasuda to seek a bigger stake in Avrist in the future.

($1 = 79.7750 Japanese yen)

($1 = 9,195.00 Indonesian rupiah) (Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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