Shares for the United States’ biggest life insurance provider MetLife (MET) were up over 6 percent to as high as $38.35 on Tuesday, as the company announced that it would be increasing its dividend payout for the first time since 2007.
Last year, MetLife’s $2 billion share buyback and dividend $1.10 per share dividend increase plans were nixed by the Federal Reserve, whose stress tests found that the company would fall short of the capital requirements deemed necessary for financial institutions to survive severe and unexpected disruptions to the economy.
In 2011, the company announced its intent to end its bank holding operations that alone were keeping it under the careful scrutiny of Federal Reserve regulators. In February, MetLife officially ended its status as a bank with approval from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Federal Reserve when it finalized deals to sell off certain bank deposits, as well as its mortgage-servicing and home-loan units, freeing it from the most stringent aspects of regulatory oversight.
The dividend payout, previously $0.185 per share, was increased to $0.275 per share (representing a 2.86 percent annual yield) and will be payable to shareholders on June 13, 2013.
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