CHICAGO-(BUSINESS WIRE) –Fitch Ratings attributed the following new ratings to MetLife, Inc. (MetLife) financing agreement programs: MetLife`s earnings and interest coverage rates have steadily improved over the past year, but remain slightly below rating expectations. Fitch expects THE 11-12% LIVE to improve in 2012, driven by higher international yields and modest growth in the U.S., notes Fitch, which notes that the low-interest environment represents a significant headwind for MetLife and the industry, while acknowledging that the company has an extensive interest rate hedging program to mitigate the medium-term effects. —Note Senior (FDIC guarantee according to TLGP) in 2012 for `AAA`; MetLife Global Funding I (MGF) is a Delaware non-profit trust fund, organized exclusively for the issuance of unregistered notes guaranteed by financing agreements issued by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MLIC), a New York-based life insurance company. The repayment of the principal and the payment of interest on the debt securities come from the cash flows generated by the financing agreements. Under New York insurance law, pari passu financing agreements are consistent with the rights of policyholders. Ratings for the funding agreement`s ratings programs reflect the credit quality of the underlying funding agreements and include a review of the legal structure of the programs involved, applicable government insurance rules and related legal advice. On the basis of this review, Fitch concluded that the legal structure allowed Fitch to « review » the ratings of insurance companies that issue program financing agreements and the obligations issued there. – common equity shares, which are backed by priority debt in the event of an « A-« ; MetLife`s strong balance sheet data reflects strong risk-adjusted capitalization, favourable liquidity profile and good investment quality. Fitch points out that the legal capitalization of MetLife`s U.S. and Japanese insurance business is considered strong and in line with rating expectations.
At the end of 2011, U.S. life insurance subsidiaries (excluding ALICO) reported combined legal capital and an RBC ratio of $25.8 billion and 435%. The company`s ALICO insurance business, MetLife`s largest insurance business outside the United States, reported legal capital and a surplus of $3.3 billion, with Japanese operations reporting an 880% solvency margin at the end of 2011. MetLife Short Term Funding LLC (MSTF) is a limited liability company operated in the State of Delaware to issue non-recourse commercial securities guaranteed by financing agreements granted by MSTF by MLIC, MICC and other associated insurance companies. The repayment of the principal and the payment of interest under the trade document come from the cash flows generated by the financing agreements. –floating-rate senior notes due August 2013 at `A-`; Fitch RatingsPrimaryAnalystDouglas L. Meyer, CFA, `1-312-368-2061Managing DirectorFitch, Inc.70 W. Madison StreetChicago, IL 60602Secondary AnalystCynthia Crosson, `1-212-908-0863Directr3DirectrComemancom