Tycoons Rush as Burmese Insurance Privatized

Thain Phyu Money Exchange Center in Rangoon. (Photo: The Irrawaddy)

A dozen private companies have been given permits to offer insurance services in Burma for the first time since 1963—including subsidiaries of tycoon-run Max Myanmar, Kanbawza Bank and AsiaWorld.

Burma’s Insurance Business Supervisory Board (IBSB) was set up by state-run Myanma Insurance to monitor the industry and representatives told a press conference on Wednesday that only 12 out of 20 applicant firms met the necessary standards.

“Our IBSB rejected eight from the 20 companies which applied as two didn’t have the necessary capital amount, one was requesting be an insurance dealer and four companies would be set up by selling shares to the public. Insurance companies need a strong capital background. Finally we found only 12 companies that met the criteria of IBSB,” said Aye Min Tun, president of Myanma Insurance.

Subsidiaries of Max Myanmar, run by tycoon Zaw Zaw who has close ties to the former junta, AsiaWorld, founded by infamous heroin trafficker Lo Hsing Han, and Kanbawza Bank, chaired by Western sanctions listed Aung Ko Win, are amongst those companies approved.

Six billion kyat capital is needed to offer life insurance while 40 billion kyat in necessary for general insurance—including car insurance, fire insurance, money exchange insurance, cash transfer insurance and insurance of valuables.

“These 12 companies are not yet sure if they will start offering insurance services or not,” added Aye Min Tun. “They have just passed the registration step. They now have to pass some more important steps to get insurance business permission.

“They also have to send the limited capital amount of their money to the Myanma Economic Bank. We will then check to see if this money is white or black-market by seeing if tax has been paid.”

Prospective firms had to lodge application forms with Myanma Insurance by June 29.

The 12 private insurance companies which passed registration are: Apex Insurance Company (AGD-Asia Green Development Bank), I.K.B.Z Insurance Public Company (Kanbawza Bank), Great Future International Insurance Company, Capital Life ltd Insurance Application. (Diamond Star), Global Standard Insurance Public Company (Shwe Taung Business Group), Green Asia Insurance Company (Asia World) Jade King and Jade Queen Service Company, Myawaddy Insurance Company (Myawaddy Bank), Pillar of Truth Insurance Company (local oil and gas company), Citizen Business Company (Co-operative Bank), Ayeyar Myanmar Insurance Company (Max-Myanmar), Myintmo Min Insurance Company (Myanmar Economic Corporation).

9 Responses to Tycoons Rush as Burmese Insurance Privatized

  1. Cronitization and militarization of the Myanmar Economy. The military Myawaddy and MEC should get out of business.

  2. George Than Setkyar Heine

    There they go!
    The first batch out of the block/hook to ENRICH (make more money) THEMSELVES (the tycoons) in the first place you bet.
    These guys got the BIG GUYS and TONS of CASH in their pockets to MAKE THINGS HAPPEN THEIR WAY as well believe me.
    With no reasonable, relevant and just laws (equal distribution of wealth among the people) in place yet, letting the tycoons out of the hook and block as well like this is certainly UNCALLED for UNWARRANTED and UNWELCOME as well at this time and juncture no less I say.
    How could you check much less ascertain the money they put in the bank is clean or dirty in the first place?
    Tay Za, Zaw Zaw, Steven Law, Khin Shwe and most others are CRONIES of Than Shwe, Maung Aye and all the rotten lot running Naypyidaw today any bets?
    And all the wealth and money they own is as BLACK as the color BLACK in the crayon set to say the least.
    This is ONE WAY of LETTING to LAUNDER their STOLEN WEALTH (black money) I say.
    Of course it is a PLOY on the part of Than Shwe to launder his ILL-GOTTEN WEALTH and MONEY as well.
    He and his thieving gang of thugs and their cronies as well have TONS of BLACK MONEY in CASH and VALUABLES as well to LAUNDER for USE at this time and juncture after opening a window amongst many others in the pipeline as well to SUIT THEIR PURPOSE (like this one among many others to launder their ill-gotten wealth and money) in order for their wives, daughters and families to go shopping at Macy in New York, London, Paris and around the world before Daw Suu’s RULE of LAW CATCHES UP WITH THEM at last and inevitable one day and soon as well.
    Don’t think ALL PEOPLE ARE IDIOTS like you guys man!

  3. All insurance company must have Foreign Currency, other wise not fair to issue license, because most of the foreign investor require confident to get back their insurance value in foreign currencies, not in Myanmar Kyats which does not have yet reserved and grantee. Now license issuing to cronies means that President Thein Sein government is ollowing the mistakes of the previous junta, that is against the norms of reforms. Why economist like our freind Mr. Myint is not point it out? It is our appeal to President Thein Sein to reconsider this insurance policy. As for local companies and local
    insuranance peoples in Kyats is OK, but as for foreign investors is unfair it is my repeat again.

  4. All the laws passed by the government are by the MILITARY, for the MILITARY and benefited by military and its cronies. Long live TATMADAW and down to Myanmar’s internal and external enemies (non sympathizers of military regime ).

  5. When it rains it pours. And it’s selective like the proverbial ‘paukara wattha moe’. Trickle down anyone?

  6. Cronies got it. Who else would have money but them. They will be the boss. Now it is very clear why the president wants to build up the Burmese economy. Burmese people must protest.

  7. Plain drug money is now going to run our country. The foundation of our Democratic Nation is now laid upon corruption.

  8. Lo Hsing Han and clean money? An oxymoron. Wonder whether the life assurance application will ask about drug habits.

  9. Insurance as a business is a form of gambling. The winning odds are hugely inflated if corrupt government/ law enforcement is on the side do one player.

    Not so different from security trading or bad bank loans. But who really went to jail after trillion dollars’ worth of defaultings in US?

    The stories of uncompensated insurance policies will follow later for mass entertainment value.

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