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Agency Warms Up To Japan

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Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services is revising its outlook for 4 Japanese life insurers and 2 property-casualty insurers to positive, from stable.

Deflation is easing in Japan, the banks have resolved their bad-loan problems, and the Japanese economy is growing faster, according to analysts at Standard & Poor’s, New York.

But the S&P analysts note that they still have concerns about Japan’s budget deficits and uncertainty about the leadership of the Liberal Democratic Party.

The companies with the new, more optimistic outlooks are Tokio Marine & Nichido Life Insurance Co. Ltd., Mitsui Sumitomo Kirameki Life Insurance Co. Ltd., AXA Life Insurance Company and MassMutual Life Insurance Company. All are based in Tokyo.