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August 19, 2019

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Thai Life insurance company enters Myanmar

Image result for life insuranceThai Life Insurance has struck a deal to take a 35% stake in Citizen Business Insurance (CB Insurance), becoming the first ASEAN insurer to enter Myanmar’s insurance field. Penetrating Myanmar’s insurance market aligns with the company’s strategy to expand operations to other countries in ASEAN, said Chai Chaiyawan, president of Thai Life Insurance.

Thai Life will transfer know-how and technology to provide a full range of life insurance coverage to meet demand from Myanmar’s customers. The company will promote savings and investment-linked insurance products, which are insurance types that are in demand, and products will be developed further to better serve demand. The life insurance business in Myanmar could deliver leapfrogging growth in tandem with the country’s economic expansion. Myanmar has a population of over 50 million. All these create opportunity for high growth in the market.

Myanmar’s Planning and Finance Ministry approved a joint venture application of CB Insurance and Thai Life on July 31 and the joint venture deal is expected to be completed by October. There are two options for foreign life insurers to operate in Myanmar: one is the formation of a wholly owned subsidiary and another is a joint venture with local insurers.

Source: Bangkok Post 

Myanmar opens insurance market with six foreign-local insurance joint ventures

Image result for InsuranceMyanmar has approved six joint ventures between local insurers and five companies from Japan and one from Thailand as the government moves to attract foreign investments and grow the country’s under-penetrated insurance industry, according to an announcement of the Ministry of Planning and Finance.

The approved life insurance tie-ups are between Capital Life Insurance and Tokyo-based Taiyo Life Insurance Co; Citizen Business Insurance and Bangkok-based Thai Life Insurance; and Grand Guardian Life Insurance Co and Osaka-based Nippon Life Insurance. The non-life joint ventures are between AYA Myanmar General Insurance and Tokyo-based Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance; Grand Guardian General Insurance Co and Tokyo-based Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance; and IKBZ Insurance Co and Tokyo-based Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co.

According to MOPF’s 2017  Statistical Yearbook,  Myanmar’s insurance industry recorded 56.75 billion kyat ($37.54m) of premiums between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017. Currently, only 86 in 1,000 people have insurance in Myanmar. Japanese insurance company Dai-Ichi has forecast the sector will expand 100-fold, to $1.3bn, over the next decade, according to Nikkei Asian Review. Even then, it would still be relatively small; insurance premiums in Vietnam were estimated at $5.75bn last year.

Source: International Investment 

MyTel anticipating 5G rollout next year if granted licence

Related imageTelecom International Myanmar Co Ltd (MyTel), launched in June last year, can roll out 5G services next year if the spectrum license is granted. The company made a test-run of the 5G service on July 31 where a speed of 1.6 Gpbs was recorded compared to the 4G network’s 150 Mbps.

MyTel will be partnering Huawei for the 5G network services. The service will be available in urban areas first before being offered in rural areas. A crucial factor would be government support for the implementation of the 5G spectrum roadmap including mobile phones and infrastructure that can support the service.

With government’s implementation, 5G services launching would be possible next year. The company has invested K1.2 billion in infrastructure with 15 million subscribers. The 5G network not only offers 100 Mbps speed for the internet, but will mean that artificial intelligence, virtual reality, Internet of Things and smart cities will also become a reality. There would be benefits to various industries and sectors of the economy.

Mytel is 49pc owned by Viettel, a Vietnamese enterprise wholly owned and operated by Vietnam’s Defence Ministry. Twenty-eight percent of Mytel’s shares are owned by Star High, a subsidiary of the Myanmar Economic Corp, a conglomerate owned by Tatmadaw (military). The remaining 23pc belongs to Myanmar National Telecom Holding, a consortium of 11 local companies.

Source: Myanmar Times 

Frontiir Receives $30M Investment from UK’s CDC

Related imageThe UK government’s development finance institution announced this week a US$30 million (45.4 billion kyats) investment in the Myanmar internet service provider Frontiir, formerly known as Myanmar Net. The British CDC Group, formerly the Commonwealth Development Corporation, said the investment will help Frontiir expand across the country to eventually bring more than 2 million people online. The CDC is fully owned by the government of the UK and operates on a mandate “to build thriving communities that provide sustainable opportunities for all citizens.”

The Frontiir investment helps the company meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal number nine, which deals with “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.”  Under that umbrella, the UN goal seeks to “Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020,” UN documents read. It marks the CDC’s first direct equity investment in Myanmar.

The CDC said its investment will allow Frontiir, which already employees more than 1,600, to hire an estimated 4,000 more people. Frontiir plans to expand its internet service, branded as “Myanmar Net,” to cover lower income townships within Yangon and Mandalay and to eventually cover 22 cities and towns across the country in the next few years. “CDC’s capital will help accelerate [Frontiir’s] growth, helping it reach further remote regions,” said Srini Nagarajan, CDC managing director and head of Asia.

Source: The Irrawaddy

IndiGo Announces Entry into Myanmar

Related imageIndiGo, India’s leading airline adds Yangon as the 18th international destination in its growing network. Effective September 20, 2019, IndiGo to operate daily non-stop flight on the Kolkata-Yangon route. Yangon will be IndiGo’s 77th overall destination.

Mr. William Boulter, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo said, “In line with our international expansion strategy, we are excited to announce Yangon as our new international destination. We see significant traffic coming from Yangon to the Buddhist circuit thereby enhancing economic growth and tourism in India. This new route will strengthen the cultural relationship between the two countries and will boost trade, tourism and mobility.”

Source: Rus Tourism News

Local, Foreign Insurance Cos. Readying to Sell in Myanmar

Image result for insurance myanmarMyanmar’s Ministry of Planning and Finance is set to give the go-ahead to joint ventures between local and foreign insurance companies in August. Myanmar’s insurance business regulatory board, which is overseen by the Ministry of Planning and Finance, is currently scrutinizing companies that have submitted requests for proposals (RFP), said U Zaw Naing, the board’s secretary. Nine foreign companies have expressed interest, but only six of them submitted RFPs for joint ventures, according to him.

Partnering with foreign insurance firms that have opened representative offices in Myanmar, local companies such as IKBZ, AYA Myanmar Insurance and Grand Guardian Insurance will provide general insurance services and GGI, Capital Life Insurance and CB Insurance will provide life insurance service. Foreign companies will be able to hold up to a 35-percent stake in joint insurance ventures while the remaining 65 percent must be locally owned.

At present, there are 19 local insurance companies providing general and life insurance services in Myanmar. Myanmar allowed for the first time foreign insurance companies to operate in the country’s life insurance market in April, 2019. The Ministry of Planning and Finance granted licenses to five foreign companies to sell life insurance: Chubb Tempest Reinsurance of the United States; Dai Ichi Life Insurance of Japan; AIA of Hong Kong; Prudential of England; and Manufacturers Life Insurance of Canada.

Surveys by private insurance companies estimate that only 1 percent of the country’s population is currently interested in purchasing life insurance. Most current plans are bought for vehicle and fire insurance. At present, local companies provide over 15 kinds of insurance, including life, travel, fire, health and vehicle.

Source: The Irrawaddy 

Myanmar’s $400m stock market to open to foreigners

Related imageMyanmar will allow direct foreign ownership of shares at the Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX), a move designed to throw a lifeline to the country’s only bourse. In a notice on Friday, the regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Myanmar, said foreign individuals and locally-registered entities would be allowed to invest in listed shares of up to 35pc.

No timeline was given but Ko Aung Thaw Zin, research analyst at business information firm Frontier Myanmar Research (FMR), expects such trading to start by year end. “It’s unclear [from the notice] whether both resident and non-resident foreigners will be permitted to trade. I understand the SECM has already prepared the follow-on regulations, which is likely to allow [only] resident foreigners,” he added.

There are five companies listed on YSX: First Myanmar Investment Public  Co Ltd, Myanmar Thilawa SEZ Holdings Public Co Ltd, Myanmar Citizens Bank Ltd, First Private Bank Ltd, and TMH Telecom Public Co Ltd. The YSX was incorporated with a paid-up capital of US$22.6 million in December 2014 and welcomed its first initial public offering in January 2018. With five listed companies, the bourse is small and limited in liquidity, with daily volume of US$35,000 as of July 12, and a market capitalisation of around $400 million.

Source: Myanmar Times 

Daiwa Securities to Set Up Fund for Startups in Myanmar

Related imageTokyo, July 12 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s Daiwa Securities Group Inc. <8601> will shortly set up a fund for startups in Myanmar, informed sources said Friday. The brokerage group was involved in the establishment of the Yangon Stock Exchange in 2015. The number of listed firms on the exchange, however, totals only five.

The group aims to increase the figure by fostering startups through the fund. The total size of the fund is expected to reach some 30 million dollars. Its investors will include Tokyo-based Taiyo Life Insurance Co., which runs life insurance business in Myanmar. The fund will be in operation for some 10 years, pouring one million dollars into each startup.

Source: Nippon.com 

KB Kookmin Bank interested in expanding Myanmar business

Related imageKB Kookmin Bank, one of South Korea’s top four banks, is interested in expanding its presence in Myanmar with more financial products and services, especially in the areas of providing financing for housing and small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs).

The expansion included collaborations with Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry for products and services tailored to SMEs, support for state-owned enterprises, digital remittance services for Myanmar workers in South Korea and collaborations with Construction, Housing and Infrastructure Development (CHID) Bank.

KB Kookmin, which applied for a banking license in 2014 but failed to obtain one, has had a presence in Myanmar through KB Finance since March 2017. The subsidiary provides microfinancing. The bank will need to acquire the license and strengthen cooperation with Myanmar especially in housing and infrastructure financing. Projects the bank has been active in include the Korea – Myanmar Industrial Complex and Dala township development, both in Yangon Region. The bank, which has a representative office in Myanmar since 2013, has conducted housing finance workshops with the Ministry of Construction, Central Bank of Myanmar and CHID Bank over the past five years.

Source: Myanmar Times 

Myanma Port Authority collecting rent from just two of nine Yangon water bus terminals

Related imageOf the nine port terminals of the Yangon Water Bus service, the Myanma Port Authority is collecting rent from just two_ K700,000 per month from the No4 and Lanthit terminals. The Myanma Port Authority is not charging any rent from the remaining terminals to help develop the water bus service. The nine port terminals of the water bus service are Botahtaung No4, Nanthida, Lanthit, Kyimyindine, Hline, Insein, Sarpachaung, Thamada, and the Antgyi shipyard in Dala Township, according to the Myanma Port Authority. At present, the Yangon Water Bus is running 11 ferries for 100,000 passengers. The number of passengers has decreased in the monsoon season.

Meanwhile, to extend the water bus route to the Pazuntaung creek, the Tint Tint Myanmar Company and the Department of Water Resources and Improvement of River Systems have jointly conducted a feasibility study at a suitable location for establishing a jetty, and their report has been forwarded to the Yangon Region government. Plans to extend the water bus route to the South Okkalapa Pagoda have been submitted to the regional government. The Yangon Water Bus was launched on 7 October, 2017, and it has been providing ferry services on internal routes in Yangon City as well as on Kyauktan and Twantay routes for the past one-and-a-half-years.

Source: Global New Light of Myanmar 

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