Myanmar Opens Up to Foreign Insurance Companies

By The Irrawaddy 3 January 2019

YANGON— The Ministry of Planning and Finance (MOPF) announced on Wednesday that they are ready to grant permission to foreign companies wishing to operate businesses offering life and non-life insurance in Myanmar.

The move comes amid efforts to “accumulate the investment needed for the country’s economic development, and to develop the non-banking financial sector,” according to the official statement released by the ministry.

The ministry said it is now inviting expressions of interest and request for proposals from companies looking to operate here which will be assessed by Myanmar’s Financial Regulatory Department.

The MOPF has specified that insurance companies must fall into one of two categories—life insurance and non-life insurance entities.

The ministry will allow up to three fully foreign-owned life insurance companies to operate here while life insurance companies with representative offices here are being encouraged to partner with local life insurers.

Meanwhile, only companies offering non-life insurance with representative offices in Myanmar may partner with local insurance companies. No fully foreign-owned non-life insurers will be granted permission to operate in Myanmar.

“The local composite insurers have been mandated by the MOPF to operate as separate life insurance and non-life insurance entities paving the way for foreign entities to associate or partner with local insurers as applicable,” the statement says.

In 2013, the government granted 11 licenses to local insurance companies in a bid to develop the sector in Myanmar.