Nippon Life Insurance Company (“Nippon Life”), largest Japanese life insurance company to buy 35% stake in Grand Guardian Insurance Holding Public Company. Nippon Life will pay USD$ 21 million for the share and its expects to complete the transaction between September and October, subject to the relevant regulatory approval, and will rename the joint venture Grand Guardian Nippon Life Insurance Co.,.
Aside from Grand Guardian Insurance, three other foreign life insurance companies have applied to form joint ventures with local partners: Citizen Business Insurance, First National Insurance and Capital Life Insurance. In April, British Prudential, Japanese Dai-ichi Life, Hong Kong AIA, US Chubb and Canadian Manulife were authorized to establish wholly-owned life insurance subsidiaries.
The government announced in January the opening of the sector to foreign firms, allowing them up to 35 percent ownership of insurers. It is now expecting a total of 29 foreign and local life and non-life insurance companies to operate in Myanmar. Of the 29 insurance providers, 17 provide life insurance.
In Myanmar, insurance penetration stands at just 0.07 percent of GDP, with the market valued at just US$70 million in 2016-17. Non-life insurers contributed to more than 70pc of the market. There are 30 categories of insurance products now being offered, with property insurance representing 80pc of total non-life income, according to Myanmar Insurance Association.