A total of 14 foreign insurers will enter Myanmar's insurance market by the end of this year through either wholly owned subsidiaries or joint venture companies with local peers, the Nikkei Asian Review has reported.
In April this year, five foreign life insurers were allowed to enter the market through wholly owned subsidiaries.
In addition, the Nikkei Asian Review has confirmed that four foreign life insurers and five foreign general insurers have applied to the government to establish joint ventures with local insurers companies. The Myanmar government will cap foreign ownership in joint ventures at 35%.
The authorities are currently screening the joint venture applications and the results will be announced by the end of July, one applicant said.
Among the foreign insurers is Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance which plans to sell to Myanmar farmers a product that covers income shortfalls due to droughts and floods, using satellite imagery to determine the extent of damage. The company has applied to the government for a licence to establish a joint venture with AYA Myanmar Insurance, affiliated with Myanmar's second largest bank.
Myanmar has an estimated population of 54m. The insurance penetration rate is extremely low, standing at 0.24% in 2018 with 0.19% for general insurance and 0.05% for life insurance.