MetLife board approves $3 bln buyback program, its biggest ever

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The MetLife building is seen in New York, March 8, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo (Copyright Reuters 2016)

MetLife Inc said on Thursday its board had approved a new $3 billion share buyback program, its largest ever.

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If the company bought shares at Wednesday's closing price of $51.28, it would be able to repurchase about 58 million shares, according to Reuters calculation.

MetLife has about 1.1 billion shares outstanding.

MetLife's stock was up 2 percent at $52.30 in light premarket trading on Thursday. Up to Wednesday's close, the stock had risen 6.4 pct this year.

(Reporting by Richa Naidu in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr)