UK-based international financial services group Prudential plc has been awarded a licence to establish a representative office in Yangon by the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration on October 29, the company said.
The move makes Prudential the first European life insurer to establish an office in the recently-opened Southeast Asian country, which is taking its early steps towards economic liberalisation.
The licence to establish a representative office is one of the first steps in the process to receive an operating licence, which will allow Prudential to start offering its services.
Prudential’s re-entry into the market is in step with the growing international support for Myanmar’s efforts to reintegrate with the international community, the company said.
Barry Stowe, chief executive of Prudential Corp Asia, said: “We see immense potential in this country as it continues to reform and progress its economic growth. Prudential is committed to the long-term development of the insurance sector and the capital market in the country.”
Prudential will offer its expertise to support the government’s efforts to develop the financial services available to its people, he added.
The new Prudential representative office, which will be headed by Allen Thai, will lay the foundation for Prudential’s future business operations, while supporting the government’s priorities to develop the financial services sector, the company said in a statement.
Prudential is a core member of the UK-Myanmar Financial Services Taskforce, set up by the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Myanmar, UK Trade and Investment and Standard Chartered Bank.
The taskforce was established this year to support the development of Myanmar’s financial sector, focusing on priority areas to ensure faster adoption of financial services across the market.
The taskforce will also provide relevant training to the private and public sectors, and act as a sounding board to the Minister of Finance and the Central Bank Governor.
Prudential has a long history in Asia and its involvement in Myanmar dates back to 1923 when it had an office on Strand road in the former capital Rangoon.
Headquartered in Hong Kong, Prudential Corp Asia is a business unit of Prudential plc (UK), comprising its life insurance operations in Asia, and its asset management business Eastspring Investments.
Prudential is one of Asia’s leading life insurers, with operations spanning 13 markets, providing a range of savings and protection products to more than 12 million customers in the region. In Asia, it operates in Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
Prudential’s affiliated companies constitute one of the world’s leading financial services groups. It has been in existence for 165 years and has £427 billion in assets under management as of June 30. It is listed on the stock exchanges of London, Hong Kong, Singapore and New York.