Mitsui Life Insurance Outlook Revised To Positive And Ratings Affirmed At 'A' Following Similar Actions On Parent

  • We revised our outlook on the ratings on Nippon Life, the parent of Mitsui Life, to positive from stable on Dec. 20.
  • We view Mitsui Life as a strategically important subsidiary within the Nippon Life group. We incorporate group support into our ratings on Mitsui Life.
  • We are revising our outlooks on the financial strength and long-term issuer credit ratings on Mitsui Life to positive from stable.
  • We are also affirming our 'A' ratings on Mitsui Life.
TOKYO (S&P Global Ratings) Dec. 20, 2018--S&P Global Ratings today said it has 
revised its outlooks on the financial strength and long-term issuer credit 
ratings on Japan-based Mitsui Life Insurance Co. Ltd. (Mitsui Life). We have 
affirmed our 'A' ratings on the insurer.

The outlook revision on Mitsui Life reflects our earlier rating actions on its 
parent Nippon Life Insurance Co. (Nippon Life, A+/--), the core entity within 
the Nippon Life group. We revised the outlook on our ratings on Nippon Life to 
positive from stable, because of improvements in the group's capitalization 
(see "Nippon Life Insurance Co. Outlook Revised To Positive On Enhanced 
Capital; Ratings Affirmed at 'A+'").

We maintain our assessment of Mitsui Life's group status in the Nippon Life 
group as strategically important. Generally, our long-term issuer credit 
rating on a strategically important subsidiary of a group can exceed the 
subsidiary's stand-alone credit profile (SACP) by up to three notches, in 
accordance with our group rating methodology. However, at the same time, it 
also must be capped at one notch below the group credit profile (GCP). 
Therefore, as our assessment of the SACP on Mitsui Life is 'bbb+' and our GCP 
on the group is 'a+', we affirmed our ratings on Mitsui Life at 'A'. 

Further, Mitsui Life announced on Nov. 29 that it will change its name to 
Taiju Life Insurance Co. Ltd. We do not believe this change will have a 
material impact on the insurer's group status within Nippon Life group. 

The positive outlook reflects our view that there is at least a one-in-three 
chance that we will raise our ratings on Mitsui Life within the next two 
years, following an improvement in the GCP of the Nippon Life group. The 
outlook also reflects our view that Mitsui Life will likely remain a 
strategically important subsidiary within the Nippon Life group.

We would upgrade Mitsui Life if we revise up our GCP on Nippon Life group to 
'aa-'. On the other hand, we would revise the outlooks on Mitsui Life to 
stable from positive if: 1) we revise the outlooks on our ratings on Nippon 
Life to stable from positive because the group's GCP remains at 'a+'; or 2) we 
revise down our SACP on Mitsui Life to 'bbb' from 'bbb+'.
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