Telenor : Telenor and MicroEnsure bring insurance to the masses in Asia.

   Telenor : Telenor and MicroEnsure bring insurance to the masses in Asia.

   Fornebu, 15 January - Today Telenor enters into a new joint venture with
   MicroEnsure, a leading provider of insurance products to more than four
       million people in Africa and Asia, to form "MicroEnsure Asia".

MicroEnsure Asia has been established as a joint venture between Telenor Group
and the UK based MicroEnsure Holdings Limited. MicroEnsure Asia will initially
focus on introducing a range of insurance products to Telenor's business units
in Asia as well as seeking to work with other mobile network operators and
distribution partners in Asia and Eastern Europe.

Studies show that less than 5% of the population in many Asian countries
currently have any insurance, yet the low and middle income market face
significant risks on a daily basis. By combining simplified products and rapid
claims payment with the convenience of transacting over the mobile phone,
MicroEnsure has rapidly reached millions of subscribers in Asia and Africa.

"Our joint venture with MicroEnsure opens up an exciting new area for Telenor
to develop, and gives access to insurance coverage for a whole new customer
segment. MicroEnsure is a good match for Telenor. Their range of products
reaches more than four million customers in Africa and Asia, and they have
broad experience in low cost operations," said Abraham Foss, Head of Financial
Services in Telenor. Financial Services is organized as a business division
within Telenor Digital Services.   

MicroEnsure was established in 2008 as a subsidiary of Opportunity
International, a non-profit microfinance organisation that provides financial
products and services for those living in poverty in the developing world.

MicroEnsure CEO, Richard Leftley commented that "Telenor is an exciting
strategic partner for us given their strong footprint in especially the Asian
region. There is significant interest from most mobile network operators to
provide financial services and specifically insurance. This will enable
MicroEnsure to continue its significant growth." Since 2008, MicroEnsure has
expanded to provide insurance products to over four million active client
across Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.

In conjunction with this joint venture, MicroEnsure today announced that it
has expanded its shareholder base to include the International Finance
Corporation (IFC), Omidyar Network and MicroEnsure management as strategic
shareholders. This is done to provide the capital and relationships needed to
continue the group's rapid expansion. Founding investor, Opportunity
International US, will maintain a minority shareholding in the newly formed
MicroEnsure Holdings Limited. 

For further information:

MicroEnsure: David Dorey, Communication Manager tel: +44 1242 526 836 or

Telenor: Atle Lessum, Head of communication Telenor Digital Services, tel +47
415 05 645,

About MicroEnsure
MicroEnsure is a specialist provider of insurance to the low and middle-income
market with more than four million active clients in Africa, Asia and the
Caribbean. They provide a range of life, health, property and weather index
products via a range of distribution partners that include microfinance
companies, co-operatives and mobile network operators. The team at MicroEnsure
started working on developing its model in 2002 and established itself as the
Micro Insurance Agency in 2006, which was then renamed as MicroEnsure in 2008.
For more information please visit


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Source: Telenor via Thomson Reuters ONE
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