Cambodia’s embryonic life insurance industry has taken another decisive step forward with the announcement by Manulife Financial that it has been given the go-ahead by the country’s Ministry of Economy and Finance to establish a wholly-owned life insurance business.
The Canadian insurer said that it had also agreed to provide support to the government in its efforts to develop the country’s life insurance industry.
The Manulife business will be the second life insurer in Cambodia. The establishment of the country’s first life insurer, Cambodian Life Insurance (CLI), was announced in September this year.
CLI is an initiative of the Cambodian government and four foreign insurers: Indonesian insurer PT Asuransi; Thai insurers Bangkok Life Assurance and Bangkok Insurance Public; and Hong Kong-based Asia Insurance Group. The Cambodian government will hold a 51% stake in CLI.
Cambodia has six general insurance companies. According to Cambodian media quoting the General Insurance Association of Cambodia, annual general insurance premium income is currently about $27m.
For Manulife, Cambodia will represent the 11th Asian country in which it operates. Manulife’s last new entry in the region was into Vietnam, in 1999.