Up to eight in­sur­ance JVs ex­pected this year

Up to eight for­eign in­sur­ance ser­vice providers are ex­pected to en­ter Myan­mar this year in joint ven­tures with local providers, a se­nior of­fi­cial of the Myan­mar In­sur­ance As­so­ci­a­tion says.

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - THIHA KO KO thi­[email protected]­times.com

SIX to eight for­eign in­sur­ance providers are ex­pected to en­ter the Myan­mar mar­ket via joint ven­tures with local providers this fis­cal year, U Thaung Han, sec­re­tary of the Myan­mar In­sur­ance As­so­ci­a­tion (MIA) and chair of CB In­sur­ance told the Myan­mar Times.

On Jan­uary 2, the Min­istry of Plan­ning and Fi­nance (MOPF) of­fi­cially per­mit­ted for­eign in­sur­ance providers to open for busi­ness in Myan­mar.

Life in­sur­ance providers will be given two op­tions to op­er­ate. The first op­tion al­lows not more than three li­censes for for­eign life in­sur­ers to op­er­ate as 100 per­cent wholly owned sub­sidiaries.

The sec­ond al­lows for­eign life in­sur­ers with a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of­fice in Myan­mar to form a joint ven­ture with a local life in­surer. Non-life in­sur­ance providers with rep of­fices in Myan­mar will be al­lowed to form a JV with local non-life in­sur­ers.

The MOPF will in­vite in­ter­ested local and for­eign in­sur­ers to sub­mit Ex­pres­sions of In­ter­est (EOI) and/or Re­quests for Pro­pos­als (RFP) to op­er­ate in­sur­ance busi­nesses in Myan­mar. The process will be fa­cil­i­tated by the Fi­nan­cial Reg­u­la­tory Depart­ment (FRD).

In fact, four local pri­vate in­sur­ance firms, in­clud­ing CB In­sur­ance, have al­ready com­pleted joint ven­tures with for­eign firms, U Thaung Han said.

“We ex­pect to see a min­i­mum of six and a max­i­mum of eight joint ven­ture in­sur­ance firms in the do­mes­tic in­sur­ance mar­ket,” he said, ad­ding that the gov­ern­ment’s long awaited move to lib­er­alise the in­sur­ance sec­tor is “ex­cel­lent” for the coun­try.

U Zaw Naing, di­rec­tor gen­eral of the FRD, added that the new en­ti­ties are ex­pected to launch do­mes­ti­cally within the cur­rent fis­cal year.

“In­for­ma­tion on the EOI and RFP process will be out soon. The own­er­ship ra­tio of the joint ven­tures be­tween the local in­sur­ance and for­eign in­sur­ance firms will also come out soon, U Zaw Naing said, ad­ding that the gov­ern­ment’s aim is to en­cour­age more in­vest­ments into the coun­try.

The gov­ern­ment in 2013 ini­tially al­lowed 11 local pri­vate in­sur­ance com­pa­nies to op­er­ate do­mes­ti­cally. How­ever, for­eign in­sur­ance providers were re­stricted to open­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tive of­fices only.

Cur­rently, there are 32 rep­re­sen­ta­tive of­fices of for­eign in­sur­ers in Myan­mar in­clud­ing from Sin­ga­pore, Ja­pan, Thai­land, US, Hong Kong, France, UK, Malaysia, Repub­lic of Korea, In­dia, Ger­many, Tai­wan, Viet­nam, and Cam­bo­dia, ac­cord­ing to the MOPF.

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