29 April 2019
On 5 April 2019, the Myanmar Ministry of Planning and Finance (“Ministry”) announced that it has granted Preferred Applicant status to five foreign insurance companies who had applied for licences to operate a life insurance business as a 100% wholly-owned Myanmar-incorporated subsidiary (“Preferred Applicants”). This is further to the Ministry’s issuance on 22 January 2019 of a Request for Proposal (“RFP”) from foreign companies seeking such licences.
Preferred Applicants must comply with further pre-licensing conditions prior to the issuance of their Foreign Life Insurance Licence (“Licence”).
Two options for Licences
The RFP had invited applications from foreign life/composite insurers with or without an existing representative office registered to carry out life insurance business in Myanmar. The period for submission of applications pursuant to the RFP ended on 1 March 2019.
In addition, foreign insurers with a local representative office registered for life/composite insurance business in Myanmar as at 31 December 2018 have the alternative option of forming a joint venture with a local life insurer to carry on life insurance business in Myanmar. This option requires the submission of an Expression of Interest together with a local life insurer (“EOI”) rather than an RFP application. The deadline for submission of applications via an EOI was 26 April 2019.
Issuance of Licences
The five companies now denoted as Preferred Applicants must comply with all pre-licensing conditions as set out by the Ministry as well as take all necessary measures to ensure functional operation of the life insurance business from the date of commencement of business operations of their 100% wholly-owned Myanmar-incorporated subsidiary. Upon fulfilment of the pre-licensing conditions, the five companies will be issued with their Licences. The RFP further stipulates that companies designated as Preferred Applicants must furnish a proposal bond of US$400,000 to the Ministry within 10 days of such designation.