Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Manulife to invest $20m in Cambodia

Manulife to invest $20m in Cambodia

Manulife to invest $20m in Cambodia

Manulife, the Canadian life insurance giant, officially announced the opening of an office in Phnom Penh yesterday and said it has plans to invest up to US$20 million in Cambodia over the next five years, in what was described by market insiders as a “historical” moment.

The announcement was made at a press conference at Raffles and was presided over by Aun Porn Moniroth, minister attached to the prime minister and secretary of state of the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Manulife will “initially” invest $7 million in Cambodia but plans to invest “about” $20 million over the next five years, said senior vice president and chairman of Manulife Cambodia David Wong.

The willingness of international players in life insurance to invest in Cambodia sets a “new benchmark” for the insurance market in Cambodia, said Youk Chanroeunrith, general manager of Forte Insurance.

The launch is a “very positive” sign for Cambodia, as the company will bring expertise and increased capacity in human resources and capital, he said.

The company will take “around three years” to become profitable, he added. State-owned Cambodia Life launched in May and was the Kingdom’s first life insurance company, the Post reported earlier this year.

Cambodia’s GDP was just over $900 per capita last year, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance. Despite Cambodia’s relatively low GDP, the company will be able to succeed in the Kingdom, Youk Chanroeunrith said.

“Vietnam started with life insurance a few years ago when they had a GDP of around $600 per capita, and the life insurance market their is quite strong now,” he said.

Manulife is “thinking about” working with local banks to offer insurance through bank branches, David Wong said.

“Customers may not know a lot about insurance, as the concept is somewhat complicated, and many Cambodians are not familiar with it,” said Ty Atith, assistant to the chairman of the General Insurance Association of Cambodia.

Manulife plans to implement a two-month “consumer education” program in the Kingdom, said David Wong in a statement, but did not expand on what this might involve.

To contact the reporter on this story: Abe Becker at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • EU officials: Ending EBA an 18-month procedure

    EU officials have confirmed that it will take a total of 18 months to complete the procedure if Cambodia’s preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) trade agreement is to be withdrawn. According to EU Agriculture and Rural Development spokesman Daniel Rosario, the formal process has not