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Report: Malaysia planning to lift ownership cap for foreign insurers

Malaysia's new government is contemplating whether to allow foreign insurance companies to maintain full ownership of domestic insurers, The Financial Times reported.

Global insurers operating in the country were told to sell 30% of their businesses to local investors by the previous administration, pursuant to a 2009 rule. Prudential PLC, Chubb Ltd. and AIA Group Ltd. and eight other foreign companies have wholly owned subsidiaries in the country and several were planning to spin off parts of their business or take on joint ventures with local operators.

However, with the appointment of a new governor at Bank Negara, the Malaysian central bank is willing to negotiate the matter, and according to sources, the bank may allow foreign insurers to keep full ownership, the news outlet reported.

Bank Negara did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while AIA Group, Prudential and Chubb declined to comment on the matter, according to the report.