Tokio Marine Makes Gradual Shift to Hedge Funds as Prices Drop

Bloomberg – Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. will shift more of its 11 trillion yen ($100 billion) in assets to hedge funds and scour the globe for bargains as the credit squeeze forces down prices.

Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., a unit of Japan’s biggest casualty insurer, may boost its investments in hedge funds by as much as 30 billion yen annually, said Fumihiro Nakajima, who runs the firm’s hedge fund investment group. The insurer has almost 200 billion yen in this asset class, he said.

“Our goal is to gradually increase hedge funds investments,” said Nakajima, 44, in an interview in Tokyo yesterday. “In the wake of subprime loan problems, there will be an opportunity to invest in hedge funds that invest in the credit market,” including high-yield bonds and credit-default swaps.

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