Government allows six JVs among local and foreign insurers

The Ministry of Finance and Planning (MOFP) announced the successful applicants for life and non-life insurers to be operated under joint ventures between locals and foreigners on July 31.

For non-life insurance, the MOFP has allowed AYA Myanmar General Insurance Company and Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance, Grand Guardian General Insurance Company and Tokio Marine, Nichido Fire Insurance and IKBZ Insurance Company as well as Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company to form joint ventures.

For life insurance, joint ventures have been allowed between Capital Life Insurance and Taiyo Life Insurance Company, Citizen Business Insurance and Thai Life Insurance, and Grand Guardian Life Insurance Company and Nippon Life Insurance.

AYA Myanmar Insurance managing director U Myo Min Thu told The Myanmar Times that the statement from the ministry “is good news to us as insurance is an important segment of the financial services industry”.

He pointed out that the liberalisation of the insurance industry will not only create job opportunities but also investment opportunities that would lead to economic growth.

U Myo Min Thu said the company for now will focus on life insurance but may review this focus in the coming years if the market conditions were conducive to enter other insurance segments. “Insurers still have a lot of opportunities,” he added.

The MOFP lifted restrictions on foreign insurers entry into the domestic market in January. In April, Prudential, Dai-ichi Life, AIA, Chubb and Manulife became the first foreign insurers to be allowed to establish wholly-owned life insurance units in Myanmar.

IKBZ, which released a survey on the domestic insurance market recently, noted that the local insurance industry can potentially grow to K1.75 trillion in the next 12 months and grow to a K4 trillion market in 10 years.

The survey also showed that some two million people in the country have some form of insurance.

In Myanmar, insurance penetration stands at just 0.07 percent of GDP, with the market valued at just US$70 million in 2016-17. Non-life insurers contributed to more than 70pc of the market. There are 30 categories of insurance products now being offered, with property insurance representing 80pc of total non-life income, according to Myanmar Insurance Association.

Source: Myanmar Times

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