YANGON – Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. has become one of five foreign insurers to obtain initial approval to enter the Myanmar market via a wholly owned subsidiary.
The Japanese insurer is expected to set up a subsidiary to start operations in the Southeast Asian country.
Dai-ichi Life won in-principle approval along with Hong Kong-based AIA Co., Bermuda-registered Chubb Tempest Reinsurance Ltd., Manufacturers Life Insurance Co. of Canada and Prudential Hong Kong Ltd., according to the Ministry of Planning and Finance’s Financial Regulatory Department.
Myanmar announced in January the opening of its insurance sector to foreign firms and released terms and processes to give license approval.
In addition to the five foreign companies, the Myanmar government is expected to grant licenses to five other Japanese insurers by mid-May to operate via joint ventures in which their shareholdings are limited to up to 35 percent, according to the regulatory body.
The five Japanese companies are two life insurers — Taiyo Life Insurance Co. and Nippon Life Insurance Co.’s regional arm Nippon Life Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd., and three nonlife insurers — Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc., Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co.
After nearly half a century of monopoly under the state-backed Myanmar Insurance Co., the government started reforming the insurance sector in 2013 by granting licenses to local firms, and 33 foreign firms have been allowed to set up representative offices since then.