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MetLife Commercial Lending Hits Record $14.3B In 2015


MetLife put $14.3B of its $500B investment portfolio into commercial real estate loans last year, the most in 140 years, the insurer said in a statement.

The total is up 18% from 2014, as the insurer is turning to real estate for higher yields amid low interest rates. MetLife also committed to investing $1B in real estate equity in 2015 through JVs and direct acquisitions.

The lending spree comes as regulators express concerns with lowering lending standards in the industry.

Some of the biggest deals included a $333M loan in September to help refinance the Mall of Short Hills, a luxury shopping center in New Jersey. It also lent $505M in July to refinance a hotel portfolio at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida.

MetLife paired up with Norway’s $780B sovereign wealth fund on some property deals, as the foreign fund moves to double its own real estate holdings, Bloomberg reports. [Bloomberg]