A woman pulls her daughter behind her in a small raft as she walks along a flooded street, near to the overflowing Chao Phraya river on November 1, 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand.For the life insurance industry, there’s nothing quite like a national near-death experience to boost the balance sheet, as Thailand shows.

The country’s number two life insurer, Thai Life, is pondering the sale of a 20 per cent stake, which some analysts predict would fetch $500m, valuing the company at $2.5bn. If successful, it will be Thailand’s third big insurance deal this year after Prudential acquired Thanachart Life Insurance and Hong Kong based investor Richard Li bought ING Thailand. Investors should not be surprised if the trend continues. Read more

For what seems like ages, the punchline to introductory remarks at every other Asian themed business conference has been: “They used to say ‘Go west, young man’ – today, that should be ‘Go east!’” (Guffaws all round).

Now, Asian-based asset manager Eastspring Investments is turning the cliche around again by, er, going west and launching an institutional sales push in the US – a move that could be repeated by other regional fund groups looking to drum up business in developed markets. Read more