On January 25, 2021, the Insurance Business Regulatory Board invited Myanmar-owned companies to submit expressions of interest in applying for either a life insurance business license or a general insurance business license, with the apparent aim of awarding one or two licenses total.
The insurance sector in Myanmar has undergone seismic changes over the last few years with the introduction of 100% foreign-owned life insurance companies and foreign-Myanmar life and general insurance joint ventures. In addition, the industry is waiting for the enactment of the new Insurance Business Law, which will implement a complete modernization of insurance regulation in Myanmar.
There are currently 24 local and foreign insurance companies operating in Myanmar, representing an investment value of USD 152.1 million. Below is a snapshot of the current state of foreign investment in the sector.
100% Foreign-Owned Life Insurance Companies
In terms of foreign entrants to the market, five foreign insurance companies have a license to conduct life insurance business with 100% foreign shareholding: AIA, Chubb, Dai-ichi Life, Manulife, and Prudential.
Life Insurance Joint Ventures
Life insurance business licenses have been awarded to three foreign-Myanmar joint ventures: between Capital Life Insurance and Taiyo Life Insurance Company, between Citizen Business Insurance and Thai Life Insurance, and between Grand Guardian Life Insurance Company and Nippon Life Insurance.
General Insurance Joint Ventures
Likewise, general insurance business licenses have been awarded to three foreign-Myanmar joint ventures: between AYA Myanmar General Insurance Company and Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance, between Grand Guardian General Insurance Company and Tokio Marine, and between IKBZ Insurance Company and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company.
It will be interesting to see which applications are successful, and how new local insurers will be established and thrive in this new insurance landscape in Myanmar.