Tags: metlife | insurance | dividend | buyback

MetLife: Fed Kills Plan for Higher Dividend, Buybacks

Tuesday, 25 Oct 2011 05:44 PM

MetLife Inc., the largest U.S. life insurer, said its plan to increase the dividend and resume share repurchases was rejected by the Federal Reserve.

“We are disappointed that we cannot commence increased capital actions now, as our analysis shows that the company’s current capital level and financial strength support capital action increases,” the New York-based insurer said Tuesday in a statement distributed by Business Wire.

Chief Executive Officer Steven Kandarian is seeking to sell the company’s deposit-gathering operation, which subjects the company to Fed oversight along with lenders such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. JPMorgan was permitted in March to increase its quarterly payout and buy back shares, while Bank of America’s plan was rejected.

The dividend remains 74 cents a share, the same level it’s been since 2007, MetLife said in Tuesday’s statement. Prudential Financial Inc., the No. 2 U.S. life insurer, announced last year it was boosting its annual dividend 64 percent to $1.15, its highest payout since 2007.

MetLife, which pays a dividend once a year, said in March that it was too early to state its plans.

“Our capital distribution activity typically occurs later in the year, and if our board should decide to pursue any such activity, that action will need to be reviewed and approved by the Federal Reserve at that time,” the company said March 18.

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MetLife Inc., the largest U.S. life insurer, said its plan to increase the dividend and resume share repurchases was rejected by the Federal Reserve. We are disappointed that we cannot commence increased capital actions now, as our analysis shows that the company s current...
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