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A.M. Best Assigns Debt Ratings to MetLife, Inc.’s New Senior Unsecured Notes

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A.M. Best has assigned debt ratings of “a-” to the $1.0 billion 4.05% 30-year senior unsecured notes and $500 million 3.00% 10-year senior unsecured notes recently issued by MetLife, Inc. (MetLife) (New York, NY) [NYSE:MET]. The outlook assigned to all ratings is stable.

Proceeds from the sale of the notes will be utilized for general corporate purposes, which will likely include repayment upon maturity of MetLife’s $1.0 billion 5.00% senior unsecured notes due June 2015. A.M. Best notes that MetLife’s pro forma financial leverage is expected to remain in the 25% range in the near to medium term. Additionally, MetLife’s financial flexibility remains strong and interest coverage is expected to remain above five times.

MetLife’s ratings recognize its diverse business mix, favorable operating results, strong franchise, considerable scale and prominent market positions across several product lines. MetLife continues to generate consistent revenue and cash flows, and has reported growth in operating earnings across the majority of its core segments. Overall operating results improved in 2014 versus the prior period despite headwinds from low interest rates and increases in mortality and morbidity claims during the year. A.M. Best notes that MetLife’s earnings have benefited from higher net investment income and asset-based fee revenues driven by favorable equity markets.

The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best’s Credit Rating Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best’s rating process and contains the different rating criteria employed in the rating process. Best’s Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.

Additional key criteria utilized include:

  • Analyzing Insurance Holding Company Liquidity
  • Equity Credit For Hybrid Securities
  • Insurance Holding Company and Debt Ratings

This press release relates to rating(s) that have been published on A.M. Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please visit A.M. Best’s Ratings & Criteria Center.

A.M. Best Company is the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright (c) 2015 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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