MetLife mulls spinoff

NEW YORK: MetLife plans to carve off a substantial portion of its US life insurance business via a sale, spinoff or an initial public offering as the parent company challenges harsher regulatory oversight. The New York company has been disputing its designation by federal regulators as a ‘systemically important’ entity that’s deemed ‘too big to fail’. That categorisation makes it subject to greater government oversight and, MetLife says, exorbitant costs. It has taken the Financial Stability Oversight Council to court over the assessment. The case is ongoing. Metlife said on Tuesday it believes the independent new US life insurance company would compete more effectively and allow MetLife to benefit from reduced capital requirements. It said the potential stand-alone business would have about $240 billion in total assets.