Genworth Financial today announced it has established operations as the first monoline residential mortgage guaranty insurance provider in Japan, after receiving authorization to do so from Japan's Financial Services Authority earlier this month. Japan is the world's second largest mortgage market with $1.8 trillion of mortgages outstanding.
Genworth will work with Japan's national and regional lenders and specialized mortgage banks to provide attractive alternatives to mortgage options currently available to Japanese homebuyers, who typically prefer low down payment mortgages in order to maintain cash savings. Genworth's Japanese operations are headquartered in Tokyo under the leadership of Kazutoshi Kuwahara, managing director.
"Japan's dynamic housing market, with more than $240 billion of originations in 2004, offers tremendous opportunity for Genworth to expand its global platform to help increase homeownership, using our product innovation and technological capabilities," said Brian Hurley, president of Genworth's international mortgage insurance operations in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Canada. "With Genworth's strong credit ratings and recognized risk management expertise, we look forward to partnering with lenders to help them prudently grow and better serve their customers in this market"
Genworth has more than $300 billion of mortgage insurance in force worldwide, with operations in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and nine countries in Europe. Mortgage guaranty insurance enables low down payment lending by protecting lenders from loss should homebuyers default on their loans
Credit enhancement provided by Genworth mortgage insurance also will help Japanese lenders increase liquidity and facilitate issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) to meet growing investor demand in Japan. Mortgage securitization in the country grew from $500 million in 1999 to $22 billion in 2004.
"The Japanese market is poised for continued RMBS growth," Hurley said. "We believe that Genworth can play a significant role in that growth by providing products with our strong ratings that offer valuable credit enhancement and assist financial institutions in managing their capital efficiently by reducing capital requirements for low down payment lending."
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