Singapore-based Great Eastern Life Assurance Co Ltd became the first Southeast Asian life insurer to be granted approval by the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) in Myanmar, the company said.
The insurer, which is a subsidiary of Singapore’s OCBC Bank, the second largest financial services group in Southeast Asia by assets, opened its representative office in Yangon last week.
Chris Wei, group CEO of Great Eastern Holdings, said, “We see tremendous opportunities where we can support the Myanmar authorities to develop the local insurance industry. These are extraordinary times for Myanmar as its economy continues to expand and open up.”
Wei said: “As a market leader in Singapore and Malaysia with 106 years of legacy and footprint in emerging markets like Indonesia, Vietnam and Brunei, we are well-positioned to contribute our experience and expertise.” The group also has a joint venture in China.
Myanmar has a population of over 60 million, with one of the lowest insurance penetration rates in Asia.
He said the firm has “much to offer” in terms of customer value proposition and that it “can play an important role to help develop Myanmar’s insurance industry through increasing awareness as well as sharing of knowledge and information with the local operators.”
With S$60.9 billion in assets and around 4 million policyholders, it has three distribution channels – a tied agency force, bancassurance, and a financial advisory firm, Great Eastern Financial Advisers.