Japan regulation sparks hunt for new annuity products

Foreign currency products hit by push for transparency on forex risk and charges

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Growing concern: Japanese savers have long been comfortable with investments in US or Australian dollars

In a market that has laboured under zero interest rates for two decades, the $1 trillion Japanese annuity industry has inevitably turned to foreign assets to achieve targeted returns. But now new transparency rules on foreign currency risk in annuity products could add to the existing difficulties created by the rates environment.

The Japanese Financial Services Authority (FSA) issued guidance in January, instructing insurance companies and banks to spell out the currency risk embedded in

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