METLIFE TO FORM STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP WITH MALAYSIA’S AMMB AND TO PURCHASE INTERESTS IN AMMB’S LIFE INSURANCE AND FAMILY TAKAFUL COMPANIES
Proposed Partnership Includes Twenty-Year Bank Distribution Agreements;
Signals MetLife’s Ambition to Become a Leading Player in the Malaysian Insurance Market
Kuala Lumpur & New York, Dec. 19, 2013 - MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) announced today it has reached an agreement with Malaysia’s AMMB Holdings Bhd (“AMMB”) to seek regulatory approval of a proposed strategic partnership involving AmLife Insurance Berhad (“AmLife”) and AmFamily Takaful Berhad (“AmTakaful”).
Upon receipt of regulatory approvals and satisfaction of certain other conditions, the proposed transaction will result in MetLife owning a fifty percent plus one share in AmLife with the remaining shares to be owned by AMMB, and AMMB owning a fifty percent plus one share in AmTakaful with the remaining shares to be owned by MetLife. In addition, the proposed transaction will result in AmLife and AmTakaful entering into exclusive twenty-year bancassurance and bancatakaful agreements for the distribution of life insurance and family takaful products through the distribution network of AMMB’s banking subsidiaries, AmBank (M) Berhad and AmIslamic Bank Berhad, in Malaysia. The total consideration for the proposed transaction payable by MetLife is RM 812 million (equivalent to USD 249 million) upon completion, subject to customary adjustments.
AMMB is the holding company of the fifth largest banking group (“AmBank Group”) in Malaysia (based on market capitalization), with RM 129 billion of assets, 187 branches, and over 4 million retail customers. AmLife is an established life insurance business that has been operating since 1973 that distributes protection, savings and investment-linked products through agency, bank, and group channels. AmTakaful started operations in January 2012 and distributes Shariah-compliant products.
In accordance with local regulatory requirements and upon the receipt of Malaysian regulatory approvals, MetLife and AMMB will execute definitive agreements, after which the proposed transaction will close upon the satisfaction of certain other conditions.
“Our proposed transaction advances MetLife’s strategy to capitalize on growth opportunities in emerging markets, and further expands our footprint into fast growing and profitable South East Asia insurance markets,” said Christopher Townsend, MetLife’s Asia President. “It is a great testament to our strengths in bancassurance, direct marketing and agency management,” he added. “AmBank Group has a distinguished track-record and brand, and we look forward to partnering with them to build top-tier life insurance and takaful businesses in Malaysia,” he concluded.
Commenting on the proposed transaction, Dato’ Dr. Nirmala Menon, MetLife’s Head of Designated Markets and Health Asia said, “Malaysia is a very attractive market, with low insurance penetration and a rapidly expanding middle class. Partnering with AMMB will leverage the strengths of two exceptional companies to meet the increasing demand for insurance in Malaysia; AMMB’s customers will benefit from access to MetLife’s global expertise, financial strength and innovative products and services, while MetLife will benefit from AMMB’s distribution network, and brand strength in the market place.” She concluded by saying, “Malaysia is a fast developing and important center of Islamic finance and this partnership will advance our Takaful product capabilities, providing us with an opportunity to export these across our other Muslim markets.”
The proposed transaction follows recent announcements from MetLife of the formation of a joint venture with Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam and opening of a Representative Office in Myanmar.
MetLife, Inc. is a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.
About AmBank Group
Established in August 1975, AmBank Group is one of the largest banking groups in Malaysia and comprises AMMB Holdings Berhad (a public listed company on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad), and its core subsidiaries – AmBank (M) Berhad, AmIslamic Bank Berhad, AmInvestment Bank Berhad, AmInvestment Group Berhad, AmGeneral Insurance Berhad, AmLife Insurance Berhad and AmFamily Takaful Berhad.
The Group provides a wide range of both conventional and Islamic financing and related financial services, including retail banking, business banking, transaction banking, corporate and institutional banking, investment banking, funds management, markets, as well as underwriting of general insurance, life insurance and family takaful.
AmBank Group’s core philosophy incorporates a deep-seated commitment to the satisfaction of its wide range of customers, with numerous customer-focused initiatives at the heart of communication and interaction with all customer groups. The Group is committed to providing new and innovative products and services to its customers, leveraging the synergy of its strategic partnership with the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), one of Australia’s leading banks.
For more information, please visit www.ambankgroup.com.
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Any or all forward-looking statements may turn out to be wrong. They can be affected by inaccurate assumptions or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Many such factors will be important in determining the actual future results of MetLife, Inc., its subsidiaries and affiliates. These statements are based on current expectations and the current economic environment. They involve a number of risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. These statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Risks, uncertainties, and other factors that might cause such differences include the risks, uncertainties and other factors identified in MetLife, Inc.’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). These factors include: (1) difficult conditions in the global capital markets; (2) concerns over U.S. fiscal policy and the “fiscal cliff” in the U.S., as well as rating agency downgrades of U.S. Treasury securities; (3) uncertainty about the effectiveness of governmental and regulatory actions to stabilize the financial system, the imposition of fees relating thereto, or the promulgation of additional regulations; (4) increased volatility and disruption of the capital and credit markets, which may affect our ability to seek financing or access our credit facilities; (5) impact of comprehensive financial services regulation reform on us; (6) economic, political, legal, currency and other risks relating to our international operations, including with respect to fluctuations of exchange rates; (7) exposure to financial and capital market risk, including as a result of the disruption in Europe and possible withdrawal of one or more countries from the Euro zone; (8) changes in general economic conditions, including the performance of financial markets and interest rates, which may affect our ability to raise capital, generate fee income and market-related revenue and finance statutory reserve requirements and may require us to pledge collateral or make payments related to declines in value of specified assets; (9) potential liquidity and other risks resulting from our participation in a securities lending program and other transactions; (10) investment losses and defaults, and changes to investment valuations; (11) impairments of goodwill and realized losses or market value impairments to illiquid assets; (12) defaults on our mortgage loans; (13) the defaults or deteriorating credit of other financial institutions that could adversely affect us; (14) our ability to address unforeseen liabilities, asset impairments, or rating actions arising from acquisitions or dispositions, including our acquisition of American Life Insurance Company and Delaware American Life Insurance Company (collectively, “ALICO”) and to successfully integrate and manage the growth of acquired businesses with minimal disruption; (15) uncertainty with respect to the outcome of the closing agreement entered into with the United States Internal Revenue Service in connection with the acquisition of ALICO; (16) the dilutive impact on our stockholders resulting from the settlement of common equity units issued in connection with the acquisition of ALICO or otherwise; (17) regulatory and other restrictions affecting MetLife, Inc.’s ability to pay dividends and repurchase common stock; (18) MetLife, Inc.’s primary reliance, as a holding company, on dividends from its subsidiaries to meet debt payment obligations and the applicable regulatory restrictions on the ability of the subsidiaries to pay such dividends; (19) downgrades in our claims paying ability, financial strength or credit ratings; (20) ineffectiveness of risk management policies and procedures; (21) availability and effectiveness of reinsurance or indemnification arrangements, as well as default or failure of counterparties to perform; (22) discrepancies between actual claims experience and assumptions used in setting prices for our products and establishing the liabilities for our obligations for future policy benefits and claims; (23) catastrophe losses; (24) heightened competition, including with respect to pricing, entry of new competitors, consolidation of distributors, the development of new products by new and existing competitors, distribution of amounts available under U.S. government programs, and for personnel; (25) unanticipated changes in industry trends; (26) changes in assumptions related to investment valuations, deferred policy acquisition costs, deferred sales inducements, value of business acquired or goodwill; (27) changes in accounting standards, practices and/or policies; (28) increased expenses relating to pension and postretirement benefit plans, as well as health care and other employee benefits; (29) exposure to losses related to variable annuity guarantee benefits, including from significant and sustained downturns or extreme volatility in equity markets, reduced interest rates, unanticipated policyholder behavior, mortality or longevity, and the adjustment for nonperformance risk; (30) deterioration in the experience of the “closed block” established in connection with the reorganization of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company; (31) adverse results or other consequences from litigation, arbitration or regulatory investigations; (32) inability to protect our intellectual property rights or claims of infringement of the intellectual property rights of others; (33) discrepancies between actual experience and assumptions used in establishing liabilities related to other contingencies or obligations; (34) regulatory, legislative or tax changes relating to our insurance, banking, international, or other operations that may affect the cost of, or demand for, our products or services, or increase the cost or administrative burdens of providing benefits to employees; (35) the effects of business disruption or economic contraction due to disasters such as terrorist attacks, cyberattacks, other hostilities, or natural catastrophes, including any related impact on our disaster recovery systems, cyber- or other information security systems and management continuity planning; (36) the effectiveness of our programs and practices in avoiding giving our associates incentives to take excessive risks; and (37) other risks and uncertainties described from time to time in MetLife, Inc.’s filings with the SEC.
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