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15 foreign insurers operating through proxies

Although international insurance companies are not allowed to trade in the union, 15 representative offices of foreign firms are operating, according to Myanmar Insurance Business Supervisory Board.

A spokesperson from Manulife Financial said: “The Ministry of Finance decides if a business can operate. Currently, as Myanmar is not familiar with insurance, discussions and public talks are being held. We can operate in special economic zones and will follow the rules of the Insurance Business Supervisory Board.”

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance, Taiyo Life Insurance, Poe-ma, American International Assurance, Samsung Life Insurance, Great Eastern Life Assurance, Prudential Holdings, Pana Harrison, Manulife, Willis and ACE have been permitted to operate.

Dr Maung Maung Thein, deputy minister at the Ministry of Finance, said: “Private Myanmar insurance companies are not stable yet. We are worried that they won’t be able to compete when more foreign firms enter the market so we are yet to give permission to international companies. But they will follow foreign investment.”

Foreign companies were preparing to enter Myanmar with its underdeveloped insurance market as the market was huge and the insurance sector would soon see great changes, he added.

Myanmar Insurance, founded in 1952 as a state-owned insurance provider, started to give out licences to private insurance companies in May 2013.

Source: ELEVEN MYANMAR

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