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Business deals

Japan's Taiyo Life buys 35% stake in Myanmar insurer

$7m deal grants early entry into market ripe for growth

Myanmar's life insurance market makes up less than 0.2% of the economy, creating a wide margin for growth.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese provider Taiyo Life Insurance will acquire 35% of Myanmar's Capital Life Insurance, a deal that creates an early foothold in a growth market.

The roughly 760 million yen ($7.14 million) investment will take place on Thursday, converting Capital Life into a joint venture affiliate. Myanmar's government is expected to formally approve foreign investment in the sector as early as October.

The Southeast Asian country's insurance market totaled an equivalent of about 18 billion yen in fiscal 2018. The sector accounts for only around 0.2% of Myanmar's gross national product, promising a large margin for growth.

Myanmar announced in January that foreign insurance providers will be allowed wider access in the market. Several other Japanese insurers are preparing to enter the country through joint or standalone ventures, but Taiyo is primed for a head start on business there.

Taiyo plans to employ the Japanese style of selling insurance, in which vendors conduct face-to-face visits with potential clients.

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