NU Online News Service, Sept. 26, 2:45 p.m. – Japan’s policy advisory board, the Financial System Council, has shelved a proposal to allow the country’s life insurers to cut their guaranteed yield payments to their policyholders, according to Mainichi Shinbum.
The proposal, which has been designed to shore up the country’s strapped life insurers, has caused controversy and prompted international rating agencies to warn that they would issue a downgrade, possibly to the point of declaring default, against any such move. (See NU http://www.nunews.com/archives/lh_archive/2001/l09-03/l200136japan.asp)
Japan’s life insurance industry is trapped between rising policyholder claims payments and falling investment returns. These negative spreads pushed five life insurers into bankruptcy last year alone.
The full text of the Mainichi report is available at http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20010921-00002024-mai-bus_all