Dai-ichi Life Insurance, one of Japan’s biggest life insurers, will open its first offices in Phnom Penh at the end of the month, and plans to begin selling life insurance policies as early as April 2017, according to Japanese media reports.
The company will be the first Japanese insurer to enter Cambodia’s small but rapidly growing insurance market.
According to the Insurance Association of Cambodia (IAC), gross premium of life insurance grew to $8.9 million during the first quarter of 2016, up 123 per cent compared to the same period last year,
However, the life insurance market in Cambodia remains one of the smallest within ASEAN countries. Huy Vatharo, chairman of IAC, could not give any details on the announcement, but said the growing number of insurance providers would help develop an understanding of the product in the country.
“Life insurance is a new financial product for Cambodians and insurers must now face the challenge of raising awareness of the product’s benefits to the public,” he said.
Dai-ichi, which reported revenues of 6.76 trillion yen last fiscal year, is facing increasingly difficult investment prospects in Japan as Japanese government bond rates continue to decrease. The economic climate is pushing insurers to look to riskier Southeast Asian markets.
The company already operates in Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia. It now enters a life insurance market occupied by four other competitors, attracted by the financial potential of the country’s growing middle class. Dai-ichi could not be reached for comment yesterday.