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MetLife unit struck US$16b in real estate deals last year
METLIFE Inc's asset manager said the stable market for real estate financing helped it complete US$16 billion in global property transactions last year.
That tally for MetLife Investment Management includes US$14 billion in commercial-mortgage originations, bringing the total of such loans managed to a record US$57 billion, according to a statement on Monday.
Last year, the asset manager, known as MIM, also committed to purchasing 25 properties valued at more than US$2.1 billion.
MIM was created in 2012 to help oversee assets for third-party investors such as pensions and other insurers as well as MetLife's money.
The unit had a strong year, with continued high interest in real estate from institutional investors as well as Asian buyers in the US market, according to Robert Merck, global head of real estate and agriculture at the asset manager.
"There was a decent amount of supply that came on, but with the economy growing, demand pretty much kept up with it," Mr Merck said. "The real estate market stayed fairly stable during the year."
The total for commercial-mortgage originations was down from a record US$15 billion in 2016.
That's partially because the insurer has focused on doing smaller slices of different types of transactions to get a range of deals for its clients, Mr Merck explained.
"It's a good diversification play," he added. The strategy will help the insurer "meet the needs of our multiple clients". BLOOMBERG