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December 8, 2019

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Prudential receives licence to operate in Myanmar

Image result for prudential myanmar life insurance ltdPrudential Corporation Asia has received a life insurance licence from the Ministry of Planning and Finance (MoPF) of Myanmar, the insurer has announced in a statement. The newly-granted licence will allow Prudential to start conducting life insurance business in Myanmar.

According to Prudential, Myanmar has a fast-growing middle class, as well as an increasingly urbanised and tech-savvy population. The country has around 57 million mobile subscriptions, with a mobile penetration of around 105%. The insurer will attempt to harness its wide-ranging digital capabilities and broad range of offerings in Asia, and implement a digital-led strategy, complemented by face-to-face distribution, to broaden access to life insurance in Myanmar.

In April 2019, Prudential was named by MoPF as a preferred applicant to operate a wholly-owned life insurance operation in Myanmar. Last month, Prudential Myanmar moved into its new corporate office in Sule Square in Yangon, reinforcing its commitment to the long-term development of the country, the statement said. “A key focus of Prudential Myanmar will be to support national efforts to raise life insurance penetration, at just 0.05% of GDP in 2018 and financial inclusion in the country,” said Asit Rath, CEO of Prudential Myanmar.

Source: Insurance Business Asia 

Suzuki launches instalment plan for purchases of four models

Image result for suzuki swiftAutomobile company Suzuki Myanmar Motor Co Ltd has announced a new instalment-payment scheme on November 7, for four models in its local line-up of vehicles. The new scheme is being offered in collaboration with Co-operative Bank Public Co Ltd (CB Bank).

The Suzuki models available beginning this month, under the scheme are the Ciaz sedan priced at K27 million, Ertiga mpv at K27.2million, Suzuki Swift GL and GLX hatchbacks at K20.9million and K24.1million, respectively. The initial down payment can be 20pc or 25pc of the car’s price, with 7 years of repayment period. Besides this, the new financing scheme also includes insurance coverage for the vehicle provided by GGI Insurance. People who want to purchase a car under the scheme will need to apply through CB Bank with a passport photo, national identity cards, a copy of their Household List, and original ward and police station recommendations.

Applicants who are employed are also required to provide recommendations from their company’s human resource department, three months of salary slips, and bank account book with least six months history. Self-employed applicants are required to show their business licence or company registration documents, two years of financial statements, tax receipts for two years, a bank account history of six months, and photo of their business.

Source: Myanmar Times 

MAB to Lend K57 Billion to SMEs

Myanmar Apex Bank (MAB) will provide a total of K57 billion in loans to local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The bank will provide the loans through five microfinance companies, namely Fullerton Finance (Myanmar), Proximity Finance, Vision Fund Myanmar, Early Dawn Microfinance and Pact Global Microfinance, said U Kyaw Ni Khin, CBO of MAB Bank.

The five microfinance companies and MAB signed the agreement at MAB’s headquarters on October 30, 2019. To obtain approval from the related ministry, the bank has prepared details about rates and methods of providing and collecting loans. There are over a dozen of microfinance companies that work with MAB.

MAB has also proposed a plan to provide K5-10 billion in loans through other micro financing institutions, but has yet to receive approval from the government. In addition to these loans, MAB is also providing loans to SMEs using Germany’s Development Bank aid and JICA’s two-step loans, in which JICA lends money to banks, who provide loans to SMEs using JICA’s loan.

Source: Myanmar Business Today

e-ID System Working Committee discusses to contract with Austrian company

Image result for e idThe e-ID System Working Committee held their fourth coordination meeting at the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population yesterday. The main, and finishing topic left for discussion is the matter of payment transactions. OeSD, the implementing Austria-based company, has sent their proposal and DACU has sent their suggestions while the Ministry of Planning and Finance is coordinating on them both.

According to Union Minister, the electronic citizen registration system is an essential component to implementing an e-Government. And, the project will be done with collaboration from the Austrian Government and implemented with an MoU by the Austria-based OeSD company. The final draft of the contract has been sent to the Union Attorney-General’s Office for further analysis.

Next, Vice Chairman U Thar Oo and committee members deputy ministers U Aung Hla Tun and U Thet Aung explained the suggestions provided for the draft contract, the urgency to detail on the national project, DACU’s comments on the Austrian Government’s loan, and the need for input from multiple different perspectives to make the contract comprehensive.

Source: Global New Light of Myanmar

Singapore-listed Yoma in tie-up with Ayala unit for renewable energy projects in Myanmar

Image result for Yoma strSingapore – Myanmar-focused Yoma Strategic Holdings is planning to form a strategic partnership with AC Energy, the energy platform of Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corporation. The two companies are looking to establish a 50:50 joint venture (JV) to scale up Yoma Micro Power (S) Pte Ltd (YMP) and to explore developing around 200 megawatts of additional renewable energy projects within Myanmar, which will include participating in large utility-scale renewable projects.

As part of this transaction, Yoma Strategic and AC Energy have signed a binding term sheet for the new JV to invest at least US$30 million (S$41.2 million) into YMP. YMP builds micro power plants and mini grids that provide electricity to off-grid rural communities and telecommunications towers in Myanmar. It is rolling out 250 micro power plants by the end of 2019 and is expected to scale up to more than 2,000 sites by 2023.

Yoma Strategic owns a 35 percent stake in YMP, while the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Norway’s private equity firm Norfund each hold 30 per cent. The remaining 5 per cent is held by YMP’s managing director Alakesh Chetia. After the investment and restructuring, which is planned for 2020, the JV is expected to hold at least 50 percent of YMP.

Source: Inquirer Plus

YCDC taxes can be paid by mobile phone from 1 Oct, 2019

Image result for mobile bankingYangonites will be able to pay Yangon City Development  Committee’s (YCDC) taxes by mobile phone from 1 October. The mobile payment system for taxes was launched at a ceremony held on 12 September at the Yangon City Hall. The system was introduced with the aim of facilitating the payment of YCDC taxes, such as the municipal land tax, property tax, general tax, and kitchen and sewage tax through a mobile application wallet.

It uses Yangon City Bank’s (YCB) payment gateway, which has been set up in cooperation with the KBZ, AYA, and CB banks. The new YCDC bills function gives users flexibility and the assurance of safe and secure payments, and the option has been added to the QuickPay function, which allows payments to over 90 companies, organizations, and universities.

With full receipt of taxes, better urban services can be extended and provided, such as the installation of GPS systems on garbage collection vehicles and construction of a waste-to-energy plant. In addition, rubbish bins and public toilets can be also be maintained as part of public services. Currently, the YCDC is using taxes collected from the public to upgrade the city to make it beautiful and clean. It is also planning to launch other applications to provide better services to the public, if the mobile payment system succeeds.

Source: Global New Light of Myanmar 

Tackling city issues with tech: Digital Yangon

Image result for Digital Yangon AppThe Digital Yangon App, implemented by the Digital Economy Development Committee, connects the public with the government, MPs and departments to handle issues facing the city. It can now be used in six downtown areas of Yangon. It is an application to connect the people with the local council, regional assembly, and government as part of an e-government system.

The app was first tried out in Kyauktada township in March, and during the pilot period was mostly used to handle complaints about rubbish, road problems and abandoned vehicles. As the trial succeeded, the service can be assessed in Pabedan, Botahtaung, Latha, Lanmadaw and Pazuntaung townships. Public can report to the Government about leaking water pipes, waste disposal in public areas, blackouts, illegal car parking, damage to roads, crimes, floods, fallen trees, child labor, stray dogs and construction law violations.

The app, which can be used on both Android and iOS phones, allows reports to be sent with photos and video, and there are now more than 3000 users. Plans call for the app’s coverage to be extended from the current six townships to 33 more in the future, said Kyauktada MP Daw Kyi Pyar.

Source: Myanmar Times 

German Firm to Advise Central Bank of Myanmar on Licensing Foreign Lenders

Image result for central bank of myanmarAmid the ongoing liberalization of Myanmar’s financial sector, the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) has hired a German consulting firm, Roland Berger Company Limited, to provide advisory services on the process of awarding licenses to foreign banks looking to do business here.

As part of the financial sector reforms, Myanmar last year started working on plans to welcome more foreign banks into the local market. Last November, the CBM allowed foreign banks to provide import financing and to extend loans to local companies and provide other banking services, opening up a new source of funding to local corporates. In January, MOPF opened up the insurance market to foreign companies wishing to operate life and non-life insurance businesses in Myanmar.

Currently, branches of 13 international banks from China, Japan, Singapore, India, Malaysia and Vietnam are listed with the Central Bank, while 49 other banks have representative offices here. Union Minister of Planning and Finance (MOPF) U Soe Win told the media in July that the government will allow foreign banks and insurers to provide retail banking services in the domestic market in the coming year.

Source: Irrawaddy 

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 

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