Myanmar opens its doors to Overseas Insurance companies
03 Sep

Myanmar opens its doors to Overseas Insurance companies

From 1st October 2018 insurance companies from overseas will be authorised to trade in Myanmar.

This huge change for Insurance Companies, that also benefits all companies in Myanmar and the Myanmar Bond Markets, was confirmed by Mr. U Zaw Naing, Secretary to The Insurance Business Regulatory Board (IBRB). U Zaw Naing holds a number of posts including Chairman of the Myanmar Institute of Directors. He also outlined the new plan to select Insurance Consultants, who will then review companies submitting requests for licences to operate in Myanmar.

(1st October 2018 is the start date for the Financial Year 2018-2019. Last November The President, U Htin Kyaw recommended changes to the fiscal year start date. The fiscal year now runs 1 October to 30 September).

This change in regulations for the insurance sector is very significant. It is widely recognised that the Insurance Sector in Myanmar needed to change, to respond to the huge increases in trading and overall economic activity in Myanmar. Last year official statements stated work was underway “to solve the problems of the insurer and the insurance companies in line with law and rules, to establish the Open Insurance Market Operation, to establish the Pure (Perfect) Competition Market, to be non-monopolistic stage, enable to operate the co-insurance by the local/foreign companies, to have Heterogeneous products, to create free entry to and exit from the insurance industry and to collect the transparent and free information in Insurance Sector of Myanmar”.

The IBRB is responsible to the Ministry of Planning and Finance (MoPF), who issue operating licences for the Insurance sector. Only recently they had announced some changes, allowing foreign insurers to operate through a company incorporated in Myanmar. Going further back, prior to 2013, the only source of insurance was via Myanma Insurance. As of Autumn 2017, 24 foreign insurers had opened “Representative Offices” in Myanmar with the objective of building contacts.

It is widely reported that this is next big economic boost for Myanmar. It is not going un-noticed. For example, a report recently issued by Munich Reinsurance Company recognises the importance of growing markets in many areas, and ASIA was highlighted. Myanmar shows the most opportunities. Most citizens in Myanmar do not use insurance services. There are approximately 55 million citizens in Myanmar.

Many reports echo patterns around the world that confirm Insurance companies are significant investors in national bond markets so this is another boost for Myanmar. As for revenues in Myanmar, publications show that at present in Myanmar the insurance sector accounts for 0.07pc of GDP.

The forecasts for growth are higher than our forecasts created in 2014, when FocusCore decided to open our offices in Myanmar – to provide a world class service to help companies start operating in Myanmar. Reports for Insurance revenues in other countries show the huge revenues in this sector – and Myanmar is now opening its doors to overseas insurance companies.  Please contact us today – if you are an Insurance company or from another sector as you will also benefit from the availability of wider and more flexible insurance services for your company.

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