Japan's Taiyo Life to open Myanmar software company
First Japanese life insurer to enter market seeks to shore up position
MOTOKAZU MATSUI, Nikkei staff writer
YANGON -- Japan's Taiyo Life Insurance will jointly establish an insurance software company in Myanmar as early as February, partnering with local business in an effort to secure its position here before the market opens to foreign investment.
The enterprise will launch with roughly 1.2 billion kyat ($875,880) in capital, with Myanmar's Ace Group of Companies owning 51% and T&D Holdings unit Taiyo Life holding 49%. It will start operations when approved for incorporation by Myanmar's Directorate of Investment and Company Administration.
Under military rule, the state-run Myanma Insurance held a monopoly on the market. Since the door opened to private insurers in 2013, more than 10 companies have begun selling automobile and life insurance policies. But product development know-how is in short supply, and companies are using general-purpose spreadsheet software even for contract administration. Taiyo and Ace will develop new systems for these companies to use and provide support to buyers.
Myanmar does not allow foreign capital in its life insurance market at present, but the government is expected to loosen this policy as soon as next year. In 2012, Taiyo Life became the first Japanese life insurance company to establish a representative office in the country. It is weighing partnerships with local insurance companies, wary of losing its lead in the event the market opens.