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MetLife quarterly profit falls on softer investment returns

FILE PHOTO - Vehicles drive in front of the MetLife Inc. building in Manhattan, New Yor

(Reuters) -U.S. insurer MetLife Inc reported a 22% fall in quarterly profit on Wednesday as weaker investment returns offset gains from rising premiums.

Growing worries of a recession, geopolitical turmoil and rate hikes have dragged global equity markets, muddying a rebound in investment income from pandemic lows.

Overall net investment income fell by 32% to $3.58 billion, hurt by changes in the estimated fair value of certain securities.

That led to a 16% fall in total revenues to $15.56 billion in the three months ended June 30.

Adjusted earnings of the insurer's Latin America business saw a 175% jump, however, partially offsetting a 13% decline in its U.S. business and a 26% slump in Asia.

MetLife also said its net derivative losses came in at $1.2 billion, compared with a gain of $421 million a year earlier.

The insurer holds a book of derivatives to hedge against market volatility. Such gains do not indicate the actual performance of the company, but reflect the effect of accounting rules, an issue that has occurred in some previous quarters.

Metlife reported adjusted earnings of $1.63 billion for the second quarter ended June 30, down from $2.1 billion a year earlier.

Stripping one-off items, the company reported a profit of $2 a share, sailing past analysts' estimates of $1.45 a share, according to data from Refinitiv.

The company's premiums, fees and other revenues came in at $13.9 billion, up 23% from last year.

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Mehnaz Yasmin in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)