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Insurance Firms in Myanmar

http://ca.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idCABRE8A60YL20121107

Analysis: Foreign insurers enter Myanmar market with hope, caution

http://ca.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idCABRE8A60YL20121107

By Clare Baldwin

HONG KONG (Reuters) - The world's top insurance firms are setting their sights on Myanmar, steeling themselves for a fight with corruption and ghosts from the nation's political past.

Prudential Plc (PRU.L: Quote), AIA Group Ltd (1299.HK: Quote) and Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO: Quote) are among the global insurance giants preparing to enter Myanmar as the government rolls out a framework for the sector's development with the lifting of European and U.S. sanctions.

The opportunities are many. A large population, economic reforms and a natural resources industry could combine to create rising wealth among Myanmar's people. There is also money to be made by general insurers providing cover for the impending boom in construction projects.

"A few years ago everybody needed to have a China story and India as well," said Michael Daly, a director and consulting actuary for the China and Southeast Asia life insurance practice at Milliman Inc. "Now the attention has shifted to Southeast Asia."

Myanmar could produce $1.6 billion in annual premium revenues, according to Reuters calculations based on economic data and comparisons with neighboring markets. That would less than 10 percent of what Singapore premiums bring in now, but in line with Vietnam's current insurance market.

With the opportunities come obstacles, including new rules governing foreign insurers that are yet to be tested.

In addition, the country's one sole established insurer - state-backed Myanma Insurance - is guaranteed certain contracts, effectively closing off portions of the market.

Other challenges include competition from a handful of regional players and corruption.
 

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http://www.scmp.com/business/bankin...s-approval-open-representative-office-myanmar

AIA says has approval to open representative office in Myanmar

AIA Group, Asia’s third-biggest insurer, said on Wednesday that it was planning to open a representative office in Myanmar, as part of a strategy of targeting demand in fast-growing Southeast Asian economies.

AIA’s chief executive, Mark Tucker, told reporters on a conference call that the company had received “provisional approval” to open the representative office, which he described as a “listening and observing post”.

“It clearly once was a very attractive market and will be again,” Tucker said.

A representative office allows a company to establish a presence in a country but does not permit a company to conduct business.

AIA rival Prudential has previously expressed interest in Myanmar, whose insurance market could eventually produce US$1.6 billion (HK$12.4 billion) in annual premium revenues.

Southeast Asia’s young populations, relatively high rates of savings and fast-growing economies are have become increasingly attractive for life insurers that have been hurt by low interest rates and an economic slowdown in the West.

AIA last year bought insurance businesses in Sri Lanka and Malaysia. It said on Wednesday that it would establish a medium-term note programme to refinance part of its Malaysia acquisition.

The company also reported a 27 per cent rise in its value of new business last fiscal year. That metric, which measures the present value of future business, rose to US$1.19 billion (HK$9.23 billion) in the year ended November 30, while its new business margin climbed 6.4 percentage points to 43.6 per cent. AIA’s net profit was US$3.02 billion (HK$23.4 billion) or 18 cents per share.

Analysts on average had expected per-share earnings of 22 cents, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Shares of AIA, which is headquartered in Hong Kong, were up 2.1 per cent in morning trade, compared with a 0.6 per cent rise in the benchmark Hang Seng index.
 

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Global insurer to open office in Myanmar

http://www.elevenmyanmar.com/business/2666-global-insurer-to-open-office-in-myanmar

American International Assurance, the third largest insurance group in Asia, has received permission to open a representative office in Myanmar, news agencies reported last week.

"It clearly once was a very attractive market and will be again," the company’s chief executive, Mark Tucker, told Reuters.

A representative office will allow the insurer to establish a presence in Myanmar but does not allow it to do business here.

Myanmar’s insurance sector comprises one state-owned company and 12 private companies that were given permission to operate last year, including Japanese firms like Sompo Japan Insurance, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, Tokio Marine Insurance and Taiyo Life Insurance.

American International Assurance is headquartered in Hong Kong and, like other insurers, is drawn to Southeast Asia by its young populations, high savings rates and fast-growing economies.

Last year it bought insurance businesses in Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

The value of its new business rose 27 percent, to US$1.19 billion, last fiscal year, it said. Its net profit was $3.02 billion or 18 cents per share.
 

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Hong Kong’s AIA opens office in Myanmar

http://www.elevenmyanmar.com/business/2769-hong-kong-s-aia-opens-office-in-myanmar

Hong Kong-based insurance company AIA Group Limited has opened its representative office on July 13 in Yangon, the commercial hub of Myanmar, according to local sources.

The representative office will only work as a consultancy offering insurance consultation and will not do direct insurance services, according to Mr. Simeon Preston from AIA.

“Myanmar needs more insurance companies as its economy develops. As a result, local private insurance companies will get operational experience [when working jointly with AIA]. It will also help improve the country’s insurance sector,” said Dr Maung Maung Thane, the deputy minister for Ministry of Finance at the opening ceremony of the office.

The AIA is said to have the largest agency force in Hong Kong and Macau. It has offices in Asia-Pacific region including Taiwan, China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Macau, South Korea, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Brunei and Vietnam.

Japanese insurance companies such as Tokio Marine and Mitsui have been operating in Myanmar with their offices opened ten years ago.
 

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A.M Best to open branch office


http://elevenmyanmar.com/business

A.M Best Insurance Company is intended to open a branch office in Myanmar in 2015, said A.M Best CEO Dr. Roger Sellek in a meeting concerned with financial strength ratings on Friday held in Traders Hotel.

“When Myanmar’s Insurance Companies is stronger in next two or three years, the company will be opened a branch office to issue financial strength ratings. We are here to analyse Myanmar’s market,” the CEO said.

The financial strength ratings are important to compete with overseas companies and the local companies will compete with incoming overseas companies after becoming Asean communities. Besides, people will have faith over local companies, Deputy Minister for Finance Dr. Maung Maung Thein said.

A.M Best Company is founded in 1899 and the company started the financial strength ratings in 1906. It has regional offices in London and Hong Kong and bureau offices in Dubai and Miami. Myanmar Insurance Enterprise has allowed 12 private companies to work in insurance sector and so far it has given licenses to nine private companies.
 

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UK’s Prudential re-enters Myanmar

http://elevenmyanmar.com/business/4088-uk-s-prudential-re-enters-myanmar

YANGON—Prudential plc, the UK-based international financial services group, announced yesterday that it has been awarded a licence to establish a representative office in the country’s commercial and industrial hub.

The Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) on October 29 granted Prudential the licence to open a representative office. The office, which will be headed by Allen Thai, is one of the first steps in the process to receive an operating licence, according to company sources.

Prudential has, therefore, become the first European life insurer to establish an office in the country, following Myanmar’s early steps towards economic liberalisation begun last year. Its involvement in Myanmar dates back to 1923 when it had an office based on Strand Road in the former capital, Rangoon. Its re-entry into the market is in step with the growing international support for Myanmar’s efforts to reintegrate with the international community.

“We are excited to be expanding our footprint to Myanmar. We see immense potential in this country as it continues to reform and progress its economic growth,” said Barry Stowe, chief executive officer of Prudential Corporation Asia.

“Prudential is committed to the long-term development of the insurance sector and the capital market in the country. We will offer our expertise to support the Myanmar government’s efforts to develop the financial services available to its people.”

Prudential also expressed its commitment to support the Myanmar government in developing the financial services sector and to help families in Myanmar protect their savings for the future through its suite of products.

Prudential is a core member of the UK-Myanmar Financial Services Taskforce, set up by Myanmar’s Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Myanmar, the UK ’s Trade and Investment Association, and Standard Chartered Bank. The taskforce was established this year to support the holistic development of Myanmar’s financial sector, focusing on priority areas to ensure faster adoption of financial services across the market. The taskforce will also provide relevant training to the private and public sectors, and act as a sounding board to the Minister for Finance, and the Central Bank Governor.

Prudential is a leading life insurer whose Asian presence spans 13 countries: Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. It provides a wide range of savings and protection products for more than 12 million customers in the region. Prudential has been in business for 165 years and has £427 billion (Ks 667.8 trillion) in assets under management as of June 30 this year.
 

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Capital Life Insurance launched with US$ 6 million in capital

http://www.elevenmyanmar.com/index....h-us-6-million-in-capital&catid=33&Itemid=356

Capital Life Insurance was launched on Sunday (March 23) and will exclusively sell life insurance policies starting with capital of about Ks 6 billion (US$ 6 million).

“Current life insurance policies can be transformed into the kind that have the public’s interest in mind,” said Deputy Finance Minister Maung Maung Thein.

Capital Life will write various types of life insurance policies. The company is one of the businesses of Ko Ko Gyi, a famous tycoon under this and previous successive governments.
 
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