TEXT-Fitch rates MetLife's debt issuance 'A-'
Aug 8 - Fitch Ratings has assigned an 'A-' rating to MetLife, Inc.'s (MetLife) $750 million of 4.125% senior unsecured notes due 2042. The Rating Outlook on MetLife and its subsidiaries is Stable. Fitch expects proceeds from the debt issuance to be used for general corporate purposes, including repayment of upcoming debt maturities. Fitch's view of MetLife's financial leverage is not impacted by this transaction. The company's financial leverage ratio was 27% as of June 30, 2012. Fitch last affirmed MetLife's ratings on May 1, 2012. The affirmation of MetLife's ratings reflects Fitch's view that the company's recent financial performance and balance sheet fundamentals remain consistent with rating expectations. Key rating drivers that could lead to an upgrade of MetLife's ratings include NAIC risk-based capital ratio above 450%, financial leverage below 25%, and GAAP interest coverage ratio in the 8x-10x range. Key rating drivers that could lead to a downgrade of MetLife's ratings include NAIC risk-based capital ratio below 350%, financial leverage above 30%, and GAAP interest coverage ratio below 5x. Fitch has assigned the following rating: MetLife, Inc. --4.125% senior unsecured notes due 2042 rated 'A-'. Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'. The ratings above were solicited by, or on behalf of, the issuer, and therefore, Fitch has been compensated for the provision of the ratings. Applicable Criteria and Related Research: --'Insurance Rating Methodology' (Aug. 16, 2010); --'Life Insurance Rating Criteria' (March 24, 2010). Applicable Criteria and Related Research: Insurance Rating Methodology Life Insurance Ratings Without Surprises
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