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Best’s News & Research Service - January 13, 2023 08:41 AM (EST)

AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of MetLife, Inc. and Most of Its Life/Health Subsidiaries

  • January 13, 2023 08:41 AM (EST)
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Oldwick //BestWire// - AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aa-” (Superior) of most members of Metropolitan Life Insurance Group. In addition, AM Best has upgraded the FSR to A+ (Superior) from A (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICR to “aa-” (Superior) from “a+” (Excellent) of Metropolitan General Insurance Company. Concurrently, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “a-” (Excellent) and the Long- and Short-Term Issue Credit Ratings (Long-Term IR; Short-Term IR) of MetLife, Inc. (MetLife) (headquartered in New York, NY) [NYSE: MET]. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. In addition, AM Best has assigned a Long-Term IR of “a-” (Excellent) to MetLife’s newly issued $1 billion, 5.25% senior unsecured notes, due 2054. The outlook assigned to this rating is stable. (See below for a detailed listing of companies and Long- and Short-Term IRs.)

The ratings reflect Metropolitan Life Insurance Group’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as strong, as well as its strong operating performance, very favorable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).

Metropolitan Life Insurance Group’s strong balance sheet assessment is supported by its consolidated view of capital adequacy that is enhanced by the liquidity and financial flexibility of its ultimate parent, which historically has maintained significant and steady levels of excess liquidity. Additionally, there has been a trend toward reduced liability risk on the group’s balance sheet, related to equity and interest rate risk as MetLife’s product portfolio declines over time. Financial leverage and interest coverage is at appropriate levels for the ratings.

The group has a history of generating revenue growth and consistently positive operating metrics on a statutory and GAAP basis. Earnings are diversified by geography, business line and distribution channel. Earnings volatility is lower within its group benefits segment. AM Best views Metropolitan Life Insurance Group’s operating performance as strong, with the group focused on enhancing its product offerings, concentrating on higher margin product lines with lower volatility of returns, and expense efficiencies. ERM is viewed as appropriate, as the group focuses on improving its overall program and capital modeling.

The ratings also reflect the organization’s strong, defensible market positions in its core lines of business and the diversity of its products and geographic markets in the United States, Asia and Latin America, as well as the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

The FSR of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term ICRs of “aa-” (Superior) have been affirmed with stable outlooks for the following subsidiaries of MetLife, Inc., collectively referred to as Metropolitan Life Group:

  • Delaware American Life Insurance Company

  • Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

  • Metropolitan Tower Life Insurance Company

  • SafeGuard Health Plans, Inc. (TX)

  • SafeGuard Health Plans, Inc. (FL)

  • SafeGuard Health Plans, Inc. (CA)

  • MetLife Global Benefits, Ltd.

The following Short-Term IRs have been affirmed:

MetLife Funding, Inc.—

— AMB-1+ (Strongest) on commercial paper

MetLife, Inc.—

— AMB-1 (Outstanding) on commercial paper

The following Long-Term IRs have been affirmed with a stable outlook:

MetLife, Inc.—

— “a-” (Excellent) on USD 1.0 billion 4.368% senior unsecured debentures, due 2023

— “a-” (Excellent) on USD 1.0 billion 3.60% senior unsecured notes, due 2024

— “a-” (Excellent) on GBP 350 million 5.375% senior unsecured notes, due 2024

— “a-” (Excellent) on USD 500 million 3.60% senior unsecured notes, due 2025

— “a-” (Excellent) on USD 500 million 3.0% senior unsecured notes, due 2025

— “a-” (Excellent) on JPY 25.2 billion 0.495% senior unsecured notes, due 2026

— “a-” (Excellent) on JPY 64.9 billion 0.769% senior unsecured notes, due 2029

— “a-” (Excellent) on USD 1.0 billion 4.55% senior unsecured notes, due 2030

— “a-” (Excellent) on JPY 10.7 billion 0.898% senior unsecured notes, due 2031

— “a-” (Excellent) on USD 600 million 6.50% senior unsecured notes, due 2032

— “a-” (Excellent) on USD 750 million 6.375% senior unsecured notes, due 2034

— “a-” (Excellent) on JPY 26.5 billion 1.189% senior unsecured notes, due 2034

— “a-” (Excellent) on USD 1.0 billion 5.70% senior unsecured notes, due 2035

— “a-” (Excellent) on JPY 24.4 billion 1.385% senior unsecured notes, due 2039

— “a-” (Excellent) on USD 750 million 5.875% senior unsecured notes, due 2041

— “a-” (Excellent) on USD 750 million 4.125% senior unsecured notes, due 2042

— “a-” (Excellent) on USD 1.0 billion 4.875% senior unsecured notes, due 2043

— “a-” (Excellent) on USD 500 million 4.721% senior unsecured debentures, due 2044

— “a-” (Excellent) on USD 1.0 billion 4.05% senior unsecured notes, due 2045

— “a-” (Excellent) on USD 750 million 4.6% senior unsecured notes, due 2046

— “a-” (Excellent) on USD 1 billion 5.0% senior unsecured notes, due 2052

— “bbb” (Good) on USD 1.25 billion 6.40% junior subordinated debentures, due 2066

— “bbb” (Good) on USD 500 million 10.75% junior subordinated debentures, due 2069

— “bbb” (Good) on USD 600 million floating rate non-cumulative preferred stock, Series A

— “bbb” (Good) on USD 500 million 5.875% non-cumulative preferred stock, Series D

— “bbb” (Good) on USD 805 million 5.625% non-cumulative preferred stock, Series E

— “bbb” (Good) on USD 1.0 billion 4.75% non-cumulative preferred stock, Series F

— “bbb” (Good) on USD 1.0 billion 3.85% non-cumulative preferred stock, Series G

MetLife Capital Trust IV—

— “bbb” (Good) on USD 700 million 7.875% exchangeable surplus trust securities (junior subordinated), due 2067

Metropolitan Life Insurance Company—

— “a” (Excellent) on USD 250 million 7.80% surplus notes, due 2025

— “a” (Excellent) on USD 150 million 7.875% surplus notes, due 2024 (originally issued by New England Mutual Life Insurance Company)

Metropolitan Tower Life Insurance Company—

— “a” (Excellent) on USD 107 million 7.625% surplus notes, due 2024 (originally issued by General American Life Insurance Company)

Metropolitan Life Global Funding I—“aa-” (Superior) program rating

— “aa-” (Superior) on all outstanding notes issued under the program

The following indicative Long-Term IRs have been affirmed, each with a stable outlook:

MetLife, Inc. —

— “a-” (Excellent) on senior unsecured debt

— “bbb+” (Good) on subordinated debt

— “bbb” (Good) on preferred stock

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Guide to Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper use of Best’s Credit Ratings, Best’s Performance Assessments, Best’s Preliminary Credit Assessments and AM Best press releases, please view Guide to Proper Use of Best’s Ratings & Assessments.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City.

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