Malaysia's central bank said yesterday that foreign insurers' plans to divest stakes to comply with a local rule on ownership are at advanced stages, reports Reuters.
In an emailed statement to Reuters just two days before the divestment deadline, Bank Negara said Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, set to take over as governor on 1 July, will be briefed on the plans.
“Bank Negara Malaysia will continue to engage the insurers on their plans thereafter,” the central bank said.
The central bank issued a directive last year saying it would enforce its 2009 rule setting a 70% cap on foreign ownership of local insurance businesses. The deadline was set for 30 June.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that Bank Negara Malaysia is considering granting extensions to some foreign insurers to give them more time to trim stakes in their local ventures, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
Foreign insurers are expected to be given additional time to comply with the ownership limit, as long as they submit plans to show they have made progress in their divestment plans, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the process is private.
Foreign insurers which are exploring options to pare their stake include UK's Prudential, Singapore’s Great Eastern, Japan’s Tokio Marine and Switzerland's Zurich Insurance.