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Moody's downgrades 2 MetLife units becoming part of Brighthouse

Moody's has downgraded a pair of 's units, because they willbecome part of its newly formed holding company

Moody's downgraded the insurance financial strength ratingsof MetLife Insurance Co.USA and New EnglandLife Insurance Co. to A3 from Aa3. The two companies, along withFirst MetLife Investors InsuranceCo., will separate from MetLife and become operating subsidiariesof Brighthouse Financial. Moody's said the downgrade factors in theirmaterially weaker business profiles and the fact that they will comprise amajority of MetLife's capital intensive and volatile product lines, such asvariable annuities.

Moody's confirmed the A3 senior unsecured debt at A3 ofMetLife Inc. and Aa3 insurance financial strength ratings of ,General American Life InsuranceCo. and MetropolitanTower Life Insurance Co., concluding its review for downgrade that was initiated after theinsurer announced its plans to separate a substantial portion of its U.S.retail business.

The rating agency said the confirmation of the ratingsreflects the companies' very strong market positions in the U.S. and excellentbrand recognition, among other things.

Despite the reduction in MetLife's overall market footprintdue to the separation of majority of its U.S retail business, the company'sremaining operations will continue to have top market positions in the U.S lifegroup insurance market and corporate benefit funding, the rating agency said.