Manulife expands into Myanmar’s life insurance market

PETALING JAYA: Manulife Asia is expanding its operations in Myanmar, its 13th market in the region, following its selection as a “preferred applicant” by the country’s Ministry of Planning and Finance to set up a wholly foreign-owned life operation.

“Manulife appreciates being selected as a preferred applicant. Myanmar is an important market to Manulife, and we are firmly committed to serving the insurance and financial needs of the people of Myanmar,” Manulife Asia president and CEO Anil Wadhwani (pix) said in a statement.

Manulife said the life insurance sector has played an integral role in driving social and economic progress across many Asean countries and opening up Myanmar’s life insurance market will be key to spurring the country’s ongoing development, boosting competition and penetration.

“As one of the fastest growing in Asean, coupled with a nascent life insurance industry, Myanmar is a key part of our overall Asia growth strategy. Developing Myanmar’s life insurance industry will not only provide much-needed financial protection to its people, but will contribute to the development of the country’s capital markets – vital for the continuing development of the overall economy,” said Wadhwani.

Manulife first started operations in Myanmar in 1903, selling its first insurance policy in November the same year. The group re-entered the market with a representative office in 2014.

Since then, Manulife has actively engaged local regulators and insurers, sharing best practice on innovative insurance products and distribution and helping to develop a sustainable insurance industry in Myanmar.

Manulife said it will contribute towards the local communities’ financial and insurance literacy through its extensive experience from operating in a large number of emerging markets in Asia.

“In particular, Manulife will explore the opportunity to sponsor local Myanmar students for higher studies in Canada, especially in the areas of actuarial science, mathematics and statistics,” it said.

Besides Myanmar, Manulife is also the first foreign life insurance company to enter and , with deployed capital of close to US$500 million across the two markets.

Source: The Sun Daily

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