* Mitsui Sumitomo, Fairfax to also explore a global partnership
* First Capital is also the largest non-life insurer in Singapore (Recasts to add details from the statement)
SINGAPORE, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company Ltd has agreed to buy Singapore-based non-life insurer First Capital Insurance Ltd from Canada's Fairfax Financial Holdings for $1.6 billion, underscoring growing appetite among Japanese insurers to expand outside their home markets.
Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, the core firm of MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings, and Fairfax will also explore a broad global partnership in various areas, including reinsurance relationships, Fairfax said in a statement on Thursday.
It said the all-cash purchase will result in a realized net investment gain of approximately $900 million after tax.
First Capital, the largest non-life insurer in Singapore, writes both personal and commercial lines of non-life insurance business across various classes such as fire, marine hull, marine cargo, motor and personal accident.
The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in late 2017 or early next year. (Reporting by Anshuman Daga in SINGAPORE and Kanishka Singh in BENGALURU; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)