1. Nippon Life, Japan's biggest private life insurer is paying about 22.7 billion rupees (USD 342 million) to lift its stake in Reliance Life to 49 percent, the maximum allowed by law from 26 percent.

2. The Indian company is a unit of billionaire Anil Ambani's Reliance Capital Ltd.
3. The Indian government earlier this year moved to allow higher foreign ownership in the USD 50 billion insurance sector, a business that has been starved of capital.

4. The easing of foreign ownership rules has opened doors for foreign insurers such as Prudential Plc and Standard Life Plc to take a higher interest in the business in Asia's third-biggest economy, where insurance penetration is low.
5. Standard Life which has an insurance joint venture with India's Housing Development Finance Corp Ltd is seeking to raise its stake in the JV to 35 percent from 26 percent.

In a separate deal, Nippon Life had previously agreed to invest 11.96 billion rupees to buy 14 percent more of Reliance Capital's asset management business, taking its stake to 49 percent.

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