Fitch Rates MetLife's Debt Issuance 'A-'

Fri Nov 8, 2013 5:40pm EST

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(The following statement was released by the rating agency) CHICAGO, November 08 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has assigned an 'A-' rating to MetLife, Inc.'s (MetLife) issuance of $1 billion in 4.875% senior unsecured notes due 2043. The Rating Outlook on MetLife is Stable. KEY RATING DRIVERS Fitch expects the $1 billion of net proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, including repayment of upcoming debt maturities in 2014. Fitch's view of MetLife's financial leverage is not affected by this transaction. The company's financial leverage ratio was 27% as of Sept. 30, 2013. MetLife's ratings reflect Fitch's view that the company's recent financial performance and balance sheet fundamentals remain consistent with rating expectations. The ratings are based on the company's strong statutory capitalization and liquidity profile, and excellent financial flexibility. The ratings also consider the company's highly diversified operating profile with very strong market positions in several major insurance product lines and markets in the U.S. and select international markets. Fitch estimates the combined risk-based capital (RBC) of MetLife's domestic life insurance companies was in excess of 400% at Sept. 30, 2013 following the shareholder dividend payment of $1.3 billion to the holding company in the first nine months of 2013. GAAP interest coverage is expected to be in the 8 times range for full-year 2013. RATING SENSITIVITIES Key rating drivers that could lead to an upgrade of MetLife's ratings include NAIC RBC 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 RBC ratio below 350%, financial leverage above 30%, and GAAP interest coverage ratio below 5x. Fitch has assigned the following rating: MetLife, Inc. --4.875% senior unsecured notes due 2043 at 'A-'. Contact: Primary Analyst Douglas L. Meyer, CFA Managing Director +1-312-368-2061 Fitch Ratings, Inc. 70 W. Madison Street Chicago, IL 60602 Secondary Analyst Cynthia Crosson Director +1-212-908-0863 Committee Chairperson James B. Auden, CFA Managing Director +1-312-368-3146 Media Relations: Brian Bertsch, New York, Tel: +1 212-908-0549, Email: brian.bertsch@fitchratings.com. Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'. Applicable Criteria and Related Research: --'Insurance Rating Methodology' (Aug. 19, 2013). Applicable Criteria and Related Research: Insurance Rating Methodology here Additional Disclosure Solicitation Status here ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: here. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.

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