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Fitch sees no ratings impact from MetLife shedding SIFI tag

Fitch Ratings said March 30 that it believes the federal court'sdecision to remove 's designation as a non-banksystemically important financial institution does not have any impact on the company'sratings.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia grantedin part MetLife's cross motion for summary judgment, removing the nonbank SIFI tagthat it received in 2014.

Fitch said it viewed the SIFI designation as neutral to the ratingsassigned to MetLife as details regarding the enhanced supervision and prudentialstandards, including capital requirements, have been unclear.

The rating agency said that although the enhanced capital standardscan result in a stronger balance sheet, which can be a ratings positive, they alsocan hurt competitiveness, which can be negative for the ratings. Accordingly, theagency views the federal court decision as having no impact on MetLife's ratings.

Fitch also does not expect the ruling to impact MetLife's planto spin off a substantialportion of its U.S. retail business, and the ratings on MetLife's insurance unitsthat will be included in the spinoff remain on Rating Watch Negative.