Insurance regulation in Myanmar

Publication | January 2018
Insurance regulation in Myanmar

Contributed by: DFDL

01 | The regulator

The Insurance Business Supervisory Board, which reports to the Ministry of Planning and Finance (MoPF), is responsible for licensing insurers, underwriting agents and insurance brokers. The Financial Regulatory Department of MoPF performs the work of the Supervisory Board.

02 | Subsidiary/branch

Insurance and insurance broking business must be conducted through either a company incorporated in Myanmar or a company established outside Myanmar with an established place of business in Myanmar.

Until 2013, Myanma Insurance was the sole insurer in Myanmar.

In September 2012 the government announced that it would grant 12 new licences to domestic operators (writing a more limited range of classes than the incumbent Myanma Insurance). These licences have been granted to eleven local insurance companies.

03 | FDI restrictions

Until recently, foreign insurers have been limited to opening representative offices in Myanmar – registered offices of foreign companies not allowed to conduct business, except of a general liaison nature, e.g. to establish contacts in Myanmar.

To date, there are 23 foreign insurance companies having their representative offices in Myanmar and among them, three foreign insurance companies have been licensed to sell insurance in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone.

A second round of licences for foreign insurance companies is anticipated but has not been announced.

MoPF intends to release during the early part of 2018 a blueprint for insurance market reforms that include allowing foreign insurers to underwrite and sell policies in the country as a whole.

04 | Control approvals

An insurer may not transfer its licence. It shall provide information about its shareholders when required by the Supervisory Board.

05 | Minimum capital

Minimum paid up capital for domestic operators –

  • Life insurance - MMK6 billion
  • Non-life insurance - MMK40 billion
  • Mixed - MMK46 billion
  • 10 per cent of the paid up capital must be deposited at the Myanmar Economic Bank
  • 30 per cent of the paid up capital must be to purchase Government Treasury Bonds

MMK$1,360.00 = US$1.00 as at January 1, 2018

The Insurance Business Supervisory Board issued Notification No. 3/2017 on March 22, 2017 whereby criteria for issuance of license to foreign insurance companies are set forth. They are: Foreign insurance companies (i) must have been in operation for at least ten years; (ii) must have total asset or paid up capital at least USD one billion; and (iii) must have a rating of not less than S & P (B+) or its equivalent.

06 | Risk based capital

No – capital requirements are based on a solvency margin.

A separate fund for each class of general business and for life assurance must be established.

07 | Group supervision

No.

08 | Policyholder protection

The Supervisory Board has the power to establish a fund for the protection of life assurance policy-holders.

Policyholders get priority over an insurer’s assets in the event of insolvency (subject to certain preferential payments – section 230 Myanmar Companies Act).

09 | Portfolio transfers

The insurance laws are silent as to portfolio transfers.

10 | Outsourcing

The insurance laws are silent as to outsourcing.

Contacts

Anna Tipping
Partner
Norton Rose Fulbright (Asia) LLP
Tel +65 6309 5417
anna.tipping@nortonrosefulbright.com

James Finch
Partner, Managing Director
DFDL
Tel +95 1 540 995
james.finch@dfdl.com


Contacts

Anna Tipping

Anna Tipping

Singapore