MetLife, Inc. (NYSE:MET) today announced that MetLife India has completed a partnership agreement with Punjab National Bank (PNB). Under the agreement PNB obtained a 30% ownership in the company. MetLife India will now be known as PNB MetLife India Insurance Company Limited (PNB MetLife). Commemorating this partnership, the Honourable Finance Minister of India, Mr. P Chidambaram attended a launch event in New Delhi today.
PNB is one of the oldest and leading banks in India and is trusted by customers for over 100 years. It has a vast distribution reach, with over 5,900 branches and serving over 70 million customers across the nation. MetLife India has been operating in the country since 2001 and with this partnership, has significantly expanded its insurance business.
In May 2012, MetLife announced a strategic plan to drive shareholder value, including increasing its business in emerging markets to become 20% of operating earnings by 2016.
“This partnership is an important step forward in delivering on our strategy to grow our business in emerging markets,” said Steven A. Kandarian, chairman, president and chief executive officer of MetLife, Inc. “As a dynamic emerging market, India is an important growth opportunity for MetLife, and we are proud to be partnering with an outstanding financial institution such as PNB.”“This unique and compelling partnership reinforces our commitment to India and our goal of becoming a top-tier life insurer in the country,” said Christopher Townsend, president of MetLife Asia region. “We look forward to working with PNB to bring our products and capabilities to India to help customers achieve financial security.” Speaking at the launch, Shri K.R. Kamath, chairman and managing director, Punjab National Bank, said, “This is a fine example of a public-private partnership and a significant milestone in the 117 year history of the bank. MetLife has more than 140 years of experience, and is a leading global provider of insurance products. Partnering with MetLife will give us access to global products and the risk management expertise of MetLife. We are very pleased that with this partnership, PNB will be able to offer a full suite of financial products to our customers, including life insurance, under the new brand PNB MetLife.”