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Ontario Teachers complete $400-million deal for stake in Kyobo Life

Jim Leech is the President and CEO of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.

Tim Fraser/The Globe and Mail

The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan has added to its portfolio by completing a $400-million (U.S.) investment in a leading Korean insurance company.

The pension plan now owns a 9.9 per cent stake in Kyobo Life Insurance Co. Ltd., the third-largest insurer in South Korea.

With its headquarters in Seoul, Kyobo is a privately-held company that offers a broad range of life insurance products to 4.5-million retail customers.

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This transaction is the Teachers' first direct investment in South Korea.

"Kyobo is a leading insurance brand with a strong customer base and financial performance," said Teachers senior vice-president Wayne Kozun.

"We believe our investment is a unique opportunity to acquire a sizeable stake in the Korean life insurance industry's most profitable company, and further expand our direct investments in Asia."

With $117.1-billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2011, the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan is the largest single-profession pension plan in Canada.

It invests the pension fund's assets and administers the pensions of 300,000 active and retired teachers in Ontario.

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