May 28, 2015 / 5:33 PM / 3 years ago

Fitch Rates MetLife's Preferred Stock Issuance 'BBB'

(The following statement was released by the rating agency) CHICAGO, May 28 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has assigned a 'BBB' rating to MetLife, Inc.'s (MetLife) issuance of $1.5 billion in series C fixed-to-floating rate non-cumulative perpetual preferred stock. KEY RATING DRIVERS Fitch expects proceeds from the issuance to be used to redeem approximately $1.5 billion of 6.50% series B non-cumulative perpetual preferred stock. Accordingly, Fitch does not expect today's issuance to have a significant effect on the credit profile of MetLife. The rating assigned to the new preferred shares is equivalent to the ratings assigned to the preferred shares that will be redeemed with the proceeds, and reflects standard notching for a hybrid with its risk characteristics. Fitch recently published an exposure draft of proposed changes to insurance notching criteria, which includes notching of hybrid securities. Per Fitch policies, newly assigned ratings are to be based on the proposed criteria. Fitch assesses the hybrid rated today as having 'Minimal' non-performance risk under the proposed criteria. Fitch notes the rating assigned to this hybrid would be the same under both proposed and existing criteria. MetLife's ratings reflect Fitch's view that the company's strong balance sheet fundamentals, excellent financial flexibility, and very strong market positions in several major insurance products lines and markets in the U.S. and select international markets are consistent with rating expectations RATING SENSITIVITIES 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 fixed charge coverage ratio above 9x. 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 fixed charge coverage ratio below 5x. Fitch has assigned the following rating: MetLife, Inc. --5.250% fixed-to-floating rate non-cumulative perpetual preferred stock 'BBB'. Contact: Primary Analyst Bradley S. Ellis, CFA Director +1-312-368-2089 Fitch Ratings, Inc. 70 W. Madison Street Chicago, IL 60602 Secondary Analyst Douglas L. Meyer, CFA Managing Director +1-312-368-2061 Committee Chairperson James B. Auden, CFA Managing Director +1-312-368-3148 Media Relations: Alyssa Castelli, New York, Tel: +1 (212) 908 0540, Email:; Elizabeth Fogerty, New York, Tel: +1 (212) 908 0526, Email: Additional information is available at ''. Applicable Criteria Exposure Draft: Insurance Notching Criteria (Proposed Methodology Changes) (pub. 12 May 2015) here Insurance Rating Methodology (pub. 04 Sep 2014) here Additional Disclosures Solicitation Status here <a href=" =2&detail=31">Endorsement Policy 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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