OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A.M. Best has assigned issue ratings of “a-” to the $750 million 4.6% senior unsecured notes due 2046 and $500 million 3.6% senior unsecured notes due 2025 recently issued by MetLife, Inc. (MetLife) (New York, NY) [NYSE: MET]. The outlook assigned is stable.
Proceeds from the sale of the notes will be utilized for general corporate purposes, which may include repayment, in whole or in part, of MetLife’s $1.25 billion 6.75% senior notes due June 2016. A.M. Best notes that MetLife’s pro forma financial leverage is expected to remain just below 25% in the near to medium term. Additionally, MetLife’s financial flexibility remains strong and interest coverage is expected to remain above five times.
The ratings assignment also recognizes MetLife’s diverse business mix, favorable operating results, strong franchise, considerable scale and prominent market positions across several product lines. MetLife also continues to generate consistent revenue and cash flows. While operating earnings have recently been negatively impacted by a non-cash charge related to the tax treatment of a wholly owned U.K. investment subsidiary, changes in actuarial assumptions due to the low interest rate environment and lower variable investment income, A.M. Best notes that operating earnings in MetLife’s core business lines have generally performed well in recent periods.
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