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Press release from Business Wire

A.M. Best Assigns Debt Rating to MetLife, Inc.'s Newly Issued Senior Unsecured Notes

Thursday, August 09, 2012

A.M. Best Assigns Debt Rating to MetLife, Inc.'s Newly Issued Senior Unsecured Notes14:30 EDT Thursday, August 09, 2012 OLDWICK, N.J. (Business Wire) -- A.M. Best Co. has assigned a debt rating of “a-” to the recently issued $750 million, 4.125% senior unsecured notes due February 15, 2042 of MetLife, Inc. (MetLife) (New York, NY) [NYSE: MET]. The assigned outlook 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 a separate $750 million of total senior notes due in 2013 upon their maturity. 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. Despite recent economic headwinds, MetLife reported improved operating earnings while maintaining adequate risk-adjusted capital ratios in 2011 and into 2012. This improvement was mainly due to derivative gains generated by the company's hedging programs. A.M. Best will continue to monitor the impact of the current macroeconomic environment including low interest rates 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. Key criteria utilized include: “Insurance Holding Company and Debt Ratings” and “Equity Credit for Hybrid Securities.” Best's Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology. Founded in 1899, 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 © 2012 by A.M. Best Company, Inc.ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.A.M. Best Co.Edward KohlbergFinancial Analyst908-439-2200, ext. 5664edward.kohlberg@ambest.comorWilliam PargeansAssistant Vice President908-439-2200, ext. 5359william.pargeans@ambest.comorRachelle MorrowSenior Manager, Public Relations908-439-2200, ext. 5378rachelle.morrow@ambest.comorJim PeavyAssistant Vice President, Public Relations908-439-2200, ext. 5644james.peavy@ambest.com