INSURANCE BRIEFS

INSURANCE BRIEFS

SUMITOMO LIFE READY

TO PLUNGE INTO NIKKEI

TOKYO - Sumitomo Life Insurance Co., shedding its cautious stance,

plans to pour roughly 200 billion to 300 billion yen (about $1.86 billion to $2.79 billion) into Japanese stocks in the fiscal second half, which ends in March, according to a report in Wednesday's edition of the Nihon Keizai Shimbun.

Sumitomo Life, which expects to garner some 850 billion yen in new premium assets in the second half, is betting that with interest rates at record lows and loan growth stagnant, the overall stock market has little room to drop.

In contrast, other life insurers remain wary of boosting stock allocations, in part a reaction to the low dividend yield of most issues, industry analysts said.

In the fiscal first half, Sumitomo Life set aside some 300 billion yen to

put into specified money trusts with the aim of buying on market lows.

MILBANK INSURANCE CO.

ACCEPTED BY THE NAII

DES PLAINES, Ill. - Milbank Insurance Co. of Milbank, S.D., has been accepted as a member of the National Association of Independent Insurers.

The company, incorporated in South Dakota, recently was bought by State Auto Insurance Cos., said Lowell Beck, the NAII's president.

Milbank writes fire, homeowners, inland marine, general liability and automobile insurance in 28 states and the District of Columbia.

NAII is a property and casualty insurance company trade association.