A.M. Best Co. has assigned a debt rating of “a-” to the recently issued $1 billion, 4.875% senior unsecured notes due November 13, 2043 of MetLife, Inc. (MetLife) (New York, NY)(NYSE:MET). The outlook assigned is stable.
The proceeds from the debt offering will be utilized for general corporate purposes, which may include the repayment in whole or in part of $1.350 billion of outstanding senior notes due in 2014 upon their maturities. A.M. Best notes that MetLife’s overall financial leverage is expected to remain below 30%, while interest coverage is expected to remain above five times. Both measures are within A.M. Best’s guidelines for MetLife’s current rating level.
The rating recognizes MetLife’s diverse business mix, prominent market position and brand recognition in several business lines, favorable operating results and significant operating scale. MetLife continues to report solid operating earnings while maintaining adequate risk-adjusted capital ratios in 2012 and into 2013. Despite net derivative losses for the first three quarters of 2013, mainly driven by increases in interest rates and changes in foreign currencies, earnings remain strong due to recent de-risking strategies and increased earnings share from international markets. A.M. Best will continue to monitor the impact of the current macroeconomic environment including interest rate movement on MetLife’s insurance operation’s earnings and risk-adjusted capital.
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.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 © 2013 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.