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Samsung Life, Kyobo Shun U.S., Europe for Korea Bonds

Bloomberg- South Korean life insurers are shunning U.S. and European corporate bonds because of a rising risk of default and plowing money into domestic debt.

Samsung Life Insurance Co., Korea’s biggest insurer, is diverting $500 million into 10-year government bonds, said Koo Sung Hoon, head of investments at the company. Kyobo Life Insurance Co., the third-largest, is reconsidering plans to invest the equivalent of $1 billion overseas and may put the money to work at home instead, said Cho Ok Rae, chief of international investments.

“Risks are increasing so we are now rebalancing our fixed- income portfolios, which means we are selling corporate bonds we hold in the U.S. and Europe,” Koo said this month in an interview in Seoul. “Corporate default risk will rise.”

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