Japanese leasing company Orix is believed to be prepared to sell its entire stake in major Korean insurer Korea Life in order to reap the high returns currently on offer.
According to a report from the Financial Times, Orix is willing to sell its 17% share of the leading life insurer because the currently high level of interest in the local financial services market could reap up to $300 million from the sale.
Quoting sources close to the situation, the Financial Times said the stake had been offered to a number of private equity funds and international insurers. Orix’s partners in a joint venture which bought a controlling 51% share of Korea Life three years ago, Korea’s Hanwha Group and Australia’s Macquarie Life, are possible buyers of the 17% stake.
HSBC could also be in the frame having bought a small share of Korea Life as recently as last month and the Financial Times understands that Orix has previously discussed selling its stake to private investment group Newbridge Capital.
Meanwhile it is thought that Orix wants to cash in to have the capital to reinvest at home at a time when the Japanese economy is experiencing a recovery.