The boss of Japanese insurance giant Tokio Marine has said that deals in Europe and the US were growing too dear - even for his firm’s $9bn warchest.

“We have to be careful not to overpay,” Tsuyoshi Nagano told Reuters.

Instead, the firm is targeting deals in Asia, where a growing middle class and low insurance penetration in some countries provide solid growth opportunities for carriers.

The executive told the newswire that Tokio Marine was looking to double Asia’s contribution to its overseas profits.

“As overseas business profits are nearing 200bn yen ($1.82bn), we would like to raise the proportion of Asia [outside Japan] to 20 percent or more from less than 10 percent now,” Nagano told Reuters.

Last week, Tokio inked a deal for a 96.8 percent stake in Thai firm Safety Insurance and an 80 percent holding in PT Asuransi Parolamas in Indonesia for a total consideration of $525mn.

“We are building a stable business by diversifying geographically and operationally,” Nagano said.

“We are always considering strategic options in countries like India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines,” he went on.

The executive did not name any targets but he did say: “There are companies we have in mind, but it’s not easy, it will take time.”