The 4th Emerging Asia Banking & FinTech Summit and the Into Myanmar Insurance Summit 2019 was organized on June 11 at Park Royal Hotel Yangon. The co-located summits, taking place from June 11 -12, bring together regulators, policy makers , local, regional and international bankers, micro finance institutions (MFIs), fintech industry players and insurance providers to discuss opportunities and challenges, form strategic alliances and action points.
Opening the 4th Emerging Asia Banking & FinTech Summit, Thant Zin, Director of Financial Regulatory Department, Ministry of Planning and Finance, highlighted the framework that will propel financial transformation in Myanmar. In other sessions, representatives from Ernst & Young, One Connect (Ping An Group), GIZ, Yoma Bank, Myanmar Tourism Bank, Ayeyarwady Bank, United Amara Bank, Wave Money, Pandeeyar and Klareco Communications, among others, addressed and discussed banking and fintech trends, including the various opportunities and challenges.
FinTech has been identified as an effective vehicle to drive true financial inclusion, given the rapid mobile penetration rate in Myanmar. Within the next two years, telcos are expected to cover 90% of the population. This increased data and online access will continue to pave the way for more innovation and opportunities.
Across the hall, the Into Myanmar Insurance Summit 2019 could not have come at a better time. In early April, Myanmar’s government provisionally authorized five multinational insurance companies to establish wholly owned subsidiaries in the country, further liberalizing the non-banking financial sector. Opening the summit, Dr Sandar Oo, Managing Director of Myanma Insurance, Union of Myanmar, who is also Chairperson of the Myanmar Insurance Association, gave an overview of the Myanmar insurance industry and how the new regulations will unlock opportunities for local and foreign companies, as well as individuals.
By May, the government was expected to select foreign insurers to form joint ventures with local providers under a 35% ownership cap. With insurance providers needing to invest 30% of the $14 million licensing fee in government bonds, this move will provide a boost to Myanmar’s economy and spark further investors’ interests.
Other participants and speakers include representatives from the Ministry of Planning and Finance, JICA, AIA Group, Manulife, Nippon Life Asia Pacific, MGA Insurance, IKBZ Insurance, First National Insurance, Aung Thitsa Oo Insurance, Galileo Platforms, and Klareco Communications.
Attending both summits as a speaker, Chelsea Phua, Partner and Head of Technology and FinTech, Klareco Communications, said “Sound business strategies, an understanding of market needs and the ability to communicate these strategies and impact will enable companies in these sectors to ride the momentum. Clear and effective communications to targeted audiences can help these companies build trust with their stakeholders, rise above the competition and become leaders in their fields.”