April 6, 2017 10:00 am JST

Dai-ichi Life Insurance opens Myanmar office

Country's 53-million-strong market opens up, more liberalization possible

SHOTARO TANI, Nikkei staff writer

TOKYO -- Dai-ichi Life Insurance has opened a representative office in Myanmar, as it looks to increase its foothold in the rapidly developing Southeast Asian insurance market.

The Japanese insurer set up office in Yangon in late March, having been given permission by the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration, a government agency under the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development of Myanmar. Dai-ichi becomes only the second Japanese life insurer to open an office in the country, after Taiyo Life Insurance opened one in 2012.

Amid the shrinking domestic market, Dai-ichi has aggressively pursued business opportunities overseas, especially in Asia. The insurer has been present in Vietnam for 10 years, and operates in India, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. The company has earmarked the Mekong region as an area for further development, and opened an office in Cambodia last year.

Myanmar's insurance industry is still in its infancy, with the state-owned Myanma Insurance having long enjoyed a monopoly. But the country's population of 53 million and an economic growth rate of over 7% offer significant opportunities for insurers like Dai-ichi. Added to that, the market is gradually opening up; 12 new domestic companies were licensed in 2012, three of which were life insurers.

The government currently does not allow foreign insurers to offer their services outside of the Thilawa special economic zone, and only three Japanese nonlife insurers have been given permission to operate there.

However, in response to growing interest, the government recently notified all foreign insurers with local representative offices that they would be eligible to apply for an SEZ license. Local media have also reported that the government is contemplating further liberalization in the near future.

Get Insights on Asia In Your Inbox

To read the full story, Subscribe or Log in

Get your first month for $0.99

Redeemable only through the Subscribe button below

Once subscribed, you can…

  • Read all stories with unlimited access (5 articles per month without subscription)
  • Use our smartphone and tablet apps

To read the full story, Subscribe or Log in

3 months for $9
SUBSCRIBE TODAY

Take advantage of this limited offer.
Subscribe now to get unlimited access to all articles.

To read the full story, Update your account

We could not renew your subscription.
You need to update your payment information.

To read the full story, Subscribe or Log in

Once subscribed, you can…

  • Read all stories with unlimited access (5 articles per month without subscription)
  • Use our smartphone and tablet apps

To read the full story, Subscribe or Log in

3 months for $9
SUBSCRIBE TODAY

Take advantage of this limited offer.
Subscribe now to get unlimited access to all articles.

To read the full story, Update your account

We could not renew your subscription.
You need to update your payment information.