MetLife will spend as much as $1 billion to repurchase shares of common stock, the company said this week.
This is the first share buyback since 2008.
MetLife Chairman and CEO Steven A. Kandarian said in a statement that the company’s philosophy is that excess capital belongs to MetLife shareholders.
“The challenge is to strike the right balance between adherence to our philosophy and recognition that MetLife’s required capital levels remain unknown if we are designated a non-bank systemically important financial institution, or SIFI, under the Dodd-Frank Act,” Kandarian said.
Those capital requirements will be determined by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
“We anticipated that the non-bank SIFI capital rules would be known by now, but recent statements by the Federal Reserve suggest that we may not see draft rules until 2015,” Kandarian said in a statement. “Meanwhile, our capital continues to grow, and later this year we will raise $1 billion as the last tranche of equity units issued to fund the Alico purchase converts to common shares.”