MassMutual Asia, an arm of the sixth-largest life insurer in the United States, will increase its Asian asset base sixfold by acquiring a Japanese insurance company, according to managing director and chief executive Elroy Chan Siu-yuen. The company will pay US$20 million to buy the entire shareholding of Aetna Heiwa Life Insurance, a subsidiary of Japan Life Insurance, from ING Group of the Netherlands. The deal should be completed by the end of the month. Mr Chan said the purchase would increase the value of MassMutual's Asian assets from US$1 billion to US$6 billion. It would also give MassMutual an entry into Japan's life-insurance market. Aetna Heiwa, founded in 1907, is Japan's 19th-largest insurer. MassMutual Asia is the flagship for MassMutual Financial Group's expansion plans in Asia.