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Nippon Life stock gains to hit 15-year high- Paper

Written by: Staff

Tokyo, March 25: Nippon Life, Japan's biggest private insurance company, is expected to have unrealised gains on shareholdings that are the highest in 15 years as of March 31, thanks in part to a surging stock market, the Nihon Keizei business daily reported on Saturday.

The amount of unrealised gains at the end of the current fiscal year will exceed 5.5 trillion yen ( billion), nearly double the 2.9 trillion yen of a year earlier, the paper said.

The company, which had slashed its Japanese stock investments since the 1999/2000 financial year, has reversed its risk-averse investment strategy and boosted its domestic stock holdings this fiscal year, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters last month.

The Nihon Keizai said the situation is similar at other major life insurers such as Dai-ichi Mutual Life Insurance Co., Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co. and Sumitomo Life Insurance Co.

Total unrealised gains of the four major insurers are likely to increase by 6.4 trillion yen to 12 trillion yen, the highest level since 17.7 trillion yen in the 1990/91 financial year, the paper said.

Japan's Nikkei share average <.N225> gained 40 percent in 2005 on views that the Japanese economy has finally recovered from a decade of stagnation.


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