Why Chinese and Japanese firms want US insurers

China Oceanwide’s $2.7 billion bid for Genworth Financial continues a long line of Chinese and Japanese companies looking to snap up US insurers. Industry experts worry about regulatory snafus.

Lu Zhiqiang is following a well-trodden path as his company China Oceanwide bids $2.7 billion for US mortgage insurer Genworth Financial.

Other billionaire-led Chinese firms, Guo Guangchang’s Fosun and Wu Xiaohui’s Anbang Insurance, have pending acquisitions awaiting approval by US regulators. At the same time Japanese insurers are scouring the US for growing companies as the demographic profile of policyholders at home ages rapidly.

The Japanese have a super-low cost of capital and a long track record of managing companies in the US, so can handily compete with the Chinese, relative newcomers on the international MA stage.

US targets...

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