MetLife to buy BBVA Chile pension business for $2 billion

MetLife Inc said it has agreed with BBVA to buy AFP Provida S.A., the largest private pension fund administrator in Chile, for about $2 billion in cash to expand its presence in emerging markets.

MetLife said BBVA, Spain's second-biggest bank, has agreed to transfer its 64.3 percent stake to MetLife.

"The assets, customers and intellectual capital this transaction brings into the MetLife family of businesses will transform our operations in Chile," said MetLife's William Wheeler, president, the Americas.

"With the acquisition of Provida, MetLife's operating earnings from emerging markets are expected to grow from 14 percent today to approximately 17 percent," the company said in a statement

The transaction, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2013 and, is expected to add about 5 cents per share in 2013 and 15 cents per share in 2014 to operating earnings.

As of September 30, Provida had $45.3 billion in assets under management and 1.8 million contributors, Metlife said.

BofA Merrill Lynch acted as financial advisor to MetLife.

Banks across the world have been shedding non-core assets and pulling out of some countries, as new capital rules aimed at preventing a repeat of the 2008 financial crises force many to clamp down on underperforming assets and rein in their costs.

In November, Grupo Financiero Banorte SAB de CV (Banorte), which runs one of Mexico's biggest financial groups, agreed to buy a local pension fund owned by BBVA in a deal valued at $1.6 billion.

(Reporting by Aditi Shrivastava and Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Matt Driskill and Hans-Juergen Peters)