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Manulife expands into Myanmar’s life insurance market, driving the country’s social and economic progress 

April 10, 2019


Yangon/Hong Kong – Manulife today announced that it has been selected as a ‘preferred applicant’ by Myanmar’s Ministry of Planning and Finance to set up a wholly foreign-owned life insurance operation. Myanmar expands Manulife Asia’s operations to a 13th market in the region. 

The life insurance sector has played an integral role in driving social and economic progress across many ASEAN countries. Opening up Myanmar’s life insurance market will be key to spurring the country’s ongoing development, boosting competition and penetration.  

“Manulife appreciates being selected as a preferred applicant,” said Anil Wadhwani, Manulife Asia President and CEO. “Myanmar is an important market to Manulife, and we are firmly committed to serving the insurance and financial needs of the people of Myanmar.” 

“As one of the fastest growing economies in ASEAN, coupled with a nascent life insurance industry, Myanmar is a key part of our overall Asia growth strategy,” continued Wadhwani. “Developing Myanmar’s life insurance industry will not only provide much-needed financial protection to its people, but will contribute to the development of the country’s capital markets – vital for the continuing development of the overall economy.” 

Manulife has a long history in Myanmar, having first started operations in 1903 and selling its first insurance policy in November the same year. Since re-entering the market with a representative office in 2014, Manulife has actively engaged local regulators and insurers, sharing best practice on innovative insurance products and distribution and helping to develop a sustainable insurance industry in Myanmar. 

Manulife will contribute immensely towards local communities’ financial and insurance literacy through its extensive experience from operating in a large number of emerging markets in Asia – in particular, Manulife will explore the opportunity to sponsor local Myanmar students for higher studies in Canada, especially in the areas of actuarial science, mathematics and statistics.  

Manulife has a proven track record in successfully expanding into emerging markets across Asia. Manulife is also the first foreign life insurance company to enter two other ASEAN countries: Vietnam and Cambodia, with deployed capital of close to US$500 million across the two markets. Today, they are among the fastest growing markets in the region and are significantly important to Manulife’s global operations.  

Over the last 130 years, Manulife has become one of the world’s leading financial services organizations. Building on this success, Manulife continues to innovate with products and services for its millions of customers across Asia and around the world. 


About Manulife 

Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. We operate primarily as John Hancock in the United States and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance, as well as wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. At the end of 2018, we had more than 34,000 employees, over 82,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving almost 28 million customers. As of December 31, 2018, we had $1.1 trillion (US$794 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made $29.0 billion in payments to our customers. Our principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States are where we have served customers for more than 100 years. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we trade as 'MFC' on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under '945' in Hong Kong. 


Media Contacts:

Christine Burrows 


+852 2510 5822


Erica Liu


+852 2586 7871