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MetLife Buys BBVA's Chilean Pension Group for $2B

MetLife (MET) agreed to acquire Chile’s largest private pension fund administrator on Friday for $2 billion as the life insurer looks to expand its presence in emerging markets.

As part of the deal, the New York-based company is buying Madrid-based BBVA’s (BBVA) 64.3% share in AFP Provida as well as the remaining outstanding shares and a small asset management business in Ecuador.

“With this acquisition, MetLife is delivering on a key component of our strategy – expanding our presence in emerging markets,” said MetLife CEO Steven Kandarian.

Shares of MetLife ticked up about 1.5% to $37.90 Friday morning.

The deal also supports MetLife's focus on shifting back to less capital intensive products and will help grow the largest U.S. life insurer's earnings from emerging markets to 17% from 14% currently.

As of Sept. 30, Provida had $45.3 billion in assets under management and 1.8 million contributors, both leading the Chilean pension industry.

MetLife expects the deal, slated to close in the third quarter, to be immediately accretive to earnings. Bank of America (BAC) served as financial advisor.

Follow Jennifer Booton on Twitter at @Jbooton