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News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) today announced the following results for the first quarter of 2017: On a GAAP basis, MetLife reported first quarter 2017 net income of $820 million, compared to net income of $2.2 billion in the first quarter of 2016. On a per share basis, net income was $0.75, compared to net income of $1.98 per share in the prior-year period. Net income includes $602 million, after tax, in net derivative losses reflecting changes in equity markets and interest rates, compared to $868 million, after tax, in net derivative gains in the first quarter of 2016. MetLife uses derivatives as part of its broader asset-liability management strategy to hedge certain risks, such as movements in interest rates and foreign currencies. This hedging activity often generates derivative gains or losses and creates fluctuations in net income because the risk being hedged may not have the same GAAP accounting treatment. In the quarter, rising equity markets and costs associated with repositioning our hedging strategies contributed to the net derivative losses. Approximately 67 percent of the net derivative losses in the quarter were attributable to asymmetrical and non-economic accounting. Excluding asymmetrical and non-economic accounting impacts, first quarter 2017 net income was $1.3 billion. Supplemental slides related to the company's derivative losses for the first quarter of 2017, titled "1Q17 Supplemental Slides," are available on the MetLife Investor Relations website at www.metlife.com in the Conferences & Presentations section, and in the Form 8-K furnished by MetLife to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in connection with this earnings news release. MetLife reported operating earnings of $1.5 billion, up 16 percent from the first quarter of 2016, and 17 percent on a constant currency basis*. On a per share basis, operating earnings were $1.41, up 18 percent from the prior-year quarter. First quarter 2017 operating earnings included the following notable items: 1 Notable Items reflect the unexpected impact of events that affect the company’s results, but that were unknown and that the company could not anticipate when it devised its Business Plan. Notable Items also include certain items regardless of the extent anticipated in the Business Plan, such as 2017 expense initiative costs, to help investors have a better understanding of company results and to evaluate and forecast those results. Notable Items can affect the company’s results either positively or negatively. Operating earnings in the U.S. segment increased 24 percent over the prior-year period. Operating earnings in Asia decreased 3 percent, and 5 percent on a constant currency basis. Operating earnings in Latin America decreased 5 percent, but were essentially unchanged on a constant currency basis. Operating earnings in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) increased 19 percent, and 34 percent on a constant currency basis. Operating earnings in MetLife Holdings increased 44 percent. Operating earnings in Brighthouse Financial decreased 25 percent, including $42 million related to separation activities with MetLife Holdings, which decreased operating earnings in Brighthouse Financial, but was completely offset in MetLife Holdings. Premiums, fees & other revenues were $12.0 billion, down 4 percent over the first quarter of 2016. Operating premiums, fees & other revenues* were $11.9 billion, essentially unchanged on both a reported and constant currency basis over the prior-year period. “ MetLife had strong first quarter operating earnings, driven by volume growth, continued expense discipline and higher fees from improved equity markets,” said Steven A. Kandarian, chairman, president and CEO, MetLife, Inc. “ Our sales for the quarter were up 21 percent on a post-separation basis, led by our largest segments, the U.S. and Asia. We continue to execute on our refreshed enterprise strategy to deliver enhanced products, services and experiences for our customers and drive long-term shareholder value creation.” Book value, excluding AOCI other than FCTA*, was $50.52 per share, down 5 percent from $53.31 at March 31, 2016. MetLife’s first quarter 2017 operating ROE, excluding AOCI other than FCTA, was 11.3 percent, and the company’s operating tangible ROE* was 13.8 percent. *Information regarding the non-GAAP and other financial measures included in this news release and the reconciliation of the non-GAAP financial measures to GAAP measures is provided in the Non-GAAP and Other Financial Disclosures discussion below, as well as in the tables that accompany this news release and/or the First Quarter 2017 Financial Supplement (which is available on the MetLife Investor Relations web page at www.metlife.com). All comparisons of the results for the first quarter of 2017 in the business discussions that follow are with the first quarter of 2016, unless otherwise noted. Re-segmented results for certain prior periods were reported by MetLife, Inc. in a Form 8-K furnished to the SEC on Oct. 20, 2016. Total operating earnings for the U.S. were $503 million, up 24 percent, benefiting from higher variable investment income, lower expenses and volume growth. Operating return on allocated equity was 19.7 percent, and operating return on allocated tangible equity was 22.9 percent. Operating premiums, fees & other revenues were $5.7 billion, up 3 percent. Excluding pension risk transfers, operating premiums, fees & other revenues were also up 3 percent. Operating earnings for Group Benefits were $194 million, up 37 percent, due to favorable expense margins and strong non-medical health underwriting results. Operating premiums, fees & other revenues were $4.3 billion, up 5 percent, driven by growth across all markets. Sales were up 29 percent, driven by growth across all products. Operating earnings for Retirement and Income Solutions were $280 million, up 16 percent, due primarily to higher variable investment income. Operating premiums, fees & other revenues were $479 million, essentially unchanged from the prior-year period. Excluding pension risk transfers, operating premiums, fees & other revenues were down 3 percent. Operating earnings for Property & Casualty were $29 million, up 32 percent, compared to $22 million in the first quarter of 2016, benefiting from higher variable investment income, lower expenses and favorable auto underwriting results. Operating earnings for both periods were impacted by $45 million in unfavorable catastrophe experience net of prior year development. Operating premiums, fees & other revenues were $875 million, down 1 percent. Property & Casualty sales were down 5 percent. Operating earnings for Asia were $295 million, down 3 percent, and 5 percent on a constant currency basis, due to a change in the Japan effective tax rate. Operating earnings benefited from volume growth and lower expenses. Operating return on allocated equity was 9.4 percent, and operating return on allocated tangible equity was 15.0 percent. Operating premiums, fees & other revenues in Asia were $2.1 billion, up 3 percent, and 1 percent on a constant currency basis. Total sales for the region were up 35 percent on a constant currency basis. Japan sales were up 8 percent, driven by foreign currency denominated whole life and accident & health sales growth. Other Asia sales were up 89 percent, representing good growth in all markets, driven particularly by China, as well as a large group case in Australia. Operating earnings for Latin America were $143 million, down 5 percent, and essentially unchanged on a constant currency basis. Excluding all notable items from both periods, operating earnings were down 12 percent, and 8 percent on constant currency basis, due to higher claim volumes in the quarter and the impact of an assumption change in the company’s Chile pension business. Favorable market impacts and volume growth were partial offsets in the quarter. Operating return on allocated equity was 19.5 percent, and operating return on allocated tangible equity was 33.6 percent. Operating premiums, fees & other revenues were $916 million, up 5 percent, and 6 percent on a constant currency basis. Total sales for the region were up 3 percent on a constant currency basis, driven by strong employee benefit sales, partially offset by lower pension sales in Mexico. Operating earnings for EMEA were $75 million, up 19 percent, and 34 percent on a constant currency basis, driven by favorable expense margins and volume growth. Operating return on allocated equity was 9.3 percent, and operating return on allocated tangible equity was 15.3 percent. Operating premiums, fees & other revenues were $614 million, essentially unchanged on a reported basis, but up 5 percent on a constant currency basis, driven by growth in Turkey, as well as in employee benefits in the United Kingdom and Egypt. Total sales for the region increased 4 percent on a constant currency basis. Operating earnings for MetLife Holdings were $385 million, up 44 percent, due to a $42 million benefit related to separation activities, as well as the previously mentioned $34 million reserve adjustment and strong variable investment income. Excluding notable items for both periods, operating earnings were up 12 percent, driven by improved underwriting, expenses and market results. Operating return on allocated equity was 13.7 percent, and operating return on allocated tangible equity was 15.3 percent. Operating premiums, fees & other revenues were $1.5 billion, down 8 percent, mostly due to the sale of the MetLife Premier Client Group, which included the company's affiliated broker-dealer unit. Corporate & Other had an operating loss of $99 million, compared to an operating loss of $190 million in the first quarter of 2016. This includes the benefit of a lower effective tax rate and the previously mentioned notable items related to legal matters and the company’s unit cost initiative. Brighthouse Financial reported operating earnings of $244 million, down 25 percent, primarily due to the previously mentioned separation activities with MetLife Holdings. Operating premiums, fees & other revenues were $1.1 billion, compared to $1.3 billion in the first quarter of 2016. Overall annuity sales were down 35 percent, and life sales were down 54 percent, mostly resulting from the suspension of sales through one distributor and lower sales from the former MetLife Premier Client Group. Sales of the company’s index-linked annuity product, Shield Level SelectorSM, remained strong in the first quarter of 2017 at $455 million, up 25 percent year over year. As reported on an operating basis, net investment income was $5.0 billion, up 6 percent. Variable investment income was $343 million ($223 million, after tax and DAC), as compared to $165 million ($109 million, after tax and DAC) in the first quarter of 2016, due to stronger private equity and hedge fund performance. Changes in equity markets and interest rates drove derivative net losses of $714 million, after tax and other adjustments. Derivative net gains in the first quarter of 2016 were $634 million, after tax and other adjustments. MetLife will hold its first quarter 2017 earnings conference call and audio webcast on Thursday, May 4, 2017, from 8-9 a.m. (EDT). The conference call will be available live via telephone and the internet. To listen via telephone, dial 800-288-8975 (U.S.) or 612-288-0337 (outside the U.S.). To listen to the conference call via the internet, visit www.metlife.com through a link on the Investor Relations page. Those who want to listen to the call via telephone or the internet should dial in or go to the website at least 15 minutes prior to the call to register, and/or download and install any necessary audio software. The conference call will be available for replay via telephone and the internet beginning at 10 a.m. (EDT) on Thursday, May 4, 2017, until Thursday, May 11, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. (EDT). To listen to a replay of the conference call via telephone, dial 800-475-6701 (U.S.) or 320-365-3844 (outside the U.S.). The access code for the replay is 407066. To access the replay of the conference call over the internet, visit the above-mentioned website. MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates (“MetLife”), is one of the largest life insurance companies in the world. Founded in 1868, MetLife is a global provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. Serving approximately 100 million customers, MetLife has operations in nearly 50 countries and holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com. Non-GAAP and Other Financial Disclosures In this news release, MetLife presents certain measures of its performance that are not calculated in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”). MetLife believes that these non-GAAP financial measures enhance the understanding of MetLife’s performance by highlighting the results of operations and the underlying profitability drivers of the business. The following non-GAAP financial measures should not be viewed as substitutes for the most directly comparable financial measures calculated in accordance with GAAP: Reconciliations of these non-GAAP measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures are included in this earnings news release and in this period’s quarterly financial supplement, which is available at www.metlife.com. MetLife’s definitions of the various non-GAAP and other financial measures discussed in this news release may differ from those used by other companies: These measures are used by management to evaluate performance and allocate resources. Consistent with GAAP guidance for segment reporting, operating earnings is also MetLife’s GAAP measure of segment performance. Operating earnings and other financial measures based on operating earnings are also the measures by which MetLife senior management’s and many other employees’ performance is evaluated for the purposes of determining their compensation under applicable compensation plans. Operating earnings and other financial measures based on operating earnings allow analysis of our performance relative to our business plan and facilitate comparisons to industry results. Operating earnings is defined as operating revenues less operating expenses, both net of income tax. Operating earnings available to common shareholders is defined as operating earnings less preferred stock dividends. These financial measures, along with the related operating premiums, fees and other revenues, focus on our primary businesses principally by excluding the impact of market volatility, which could distort trends, and revenues and costs related to non-core products and divested businesses and certain entities required to be consolidated under GAAP. Also, these measures exclude results of discontinued operations and other businesses that have been or will be sold or exited by MetLife and are referred to as divested businesses. In addition, for the year ended March 31, 2016, operating revenues and operating expenses exclude the financial impact of converting MetLife’s Japan operations to calendar-year end reporting without retrospective application of this change to prior periods and is referred to as lag elimination. Operating revenues also excludes net investment gains (losses) (NIGL) and net derivative gains (losses) (NDGL). Operating expenses also excludes goodwill impairments. The following additional adjustments are made to revenues, in the line items indicated, in calculating operating revenues: The following additional adjustments are made to expenses, in the line items indicated, in calculating operating expenses: Operating earnings also excludes the recognition of certain contingent assets and liabilities that could not be recognized at acquisition or adjusted for during the measurement period under GAAP business combination accounting guidance. The tax impact of the adjustments mentioned above are calculated net of the U.S. or foreign statutory tax rate, which could differ from the company’s effective tax rate. Additionally, the provision for income tax (expense) benefit also includes the impact related to the timing of certain tax credits, as well as certain tax reforms. These are measures of investment and hedging activity. Investment portfolio gains (losses) principally excludes amounts that are reported within net investment gains (losses) but do not relate to the performance of the investment portfolio, such as gains (losses) on sales and divestitures of businesses or goodwill impairment. Derivative gains (losses) principally excludes earned income on derivatives and amortization of premium on derivatives, where such derivatives are either hedges of investments or are used to replicate certain investments, and where such derivatives do not qualify for hedge accounting. This earned income and amortization of premium is reported within operating earnings and not within derivative gains (losses). The above measures represent a level of equity consistent with the view that, in the ordinary course of business, we do not plan to sell most investments for the sole purpose of realizing gains or losses. Also refer to the utilization of operating earnings and other financial measures based on operating earnings mentioned above. The above measures are, when considered in conjunction with regulatory capital ratios, a measure of capital adequacy. The following additional information is relevant to an understanding of MetLife’s performance results: This news release may contain or incorporate by reference information that includes or is based upon forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements give expectations or forecasts of future events. These statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They use words such as "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe" and other words and terms of similar meaning, or are tied to future periods, in connection with a discussion of future operating or financial performance. In particular, these include statements relating to future actions, prospective services or products, future performance or results of current and anticipated services or products, sales efforts, expenses, the outcome of contingencies such as legal proceedings, trends in operations and financial results. Any or all forward-looking statements may turn out to be wrong. They can be affected by inaccurate assumptions or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Many such factors will be important in determining the actual future results of MetLife, Inc., its subsidiaries and affiliates. These statements are based on current expectations and the current economic environment. They involve a number of risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. These statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Risks, uncertainties, and other factors that might cause such differences include the risks, uncertainties and other factors identified in MetLife, Inc.’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. These factors include: (1) difficult conditions in the global capital markets; (2) increased volatility and disruption of the global capital and credit markets, which may affect our ability to meet liquidity needs and access capital, including through our credit facilities, generate fee income and market-related revenue and finance statutory reserve requirements and may require us to pledge collateral or make payments related to declines in value of specified assets, including assets supporting risks ceded to certain of our captive reinsurers or hedging arrangements associated with those risks; (3) exposure to global financial and capital market risks, including as a result of the pending withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, other disruption in Europe and possible withdrawal of one or more countries from the Euro zone; (4) impact on us of comprehensive financial services regulation reform, including potential regulation of MetLife, Inc. as a non-bank systemically important financial institution, or otherwise; (5) numerous rulemaking initiatives required or permitted by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act which may impact how we conduct our business, including those compelling the liquidation of certain financial institutions; (6) regulatory, legislative or tax changes relating to our insurance, international, or other operations that may affect the cost of, or demand for, our products or services, or increase the cost or administrative burdens of providing benefits to employees; (7) adverse results or other consequences from litigation, arbitration or regulatory investigations; (8) unanticipated developments that could delay, prevent or otherwise adversely affect the separation of Brighthouse Financial; (9) our ability to address difficulties, unforeseen liabilities, asset impairments, or rating agency actions arising from (a) business acquisitions and integrating and managing the growth of such acquired businesses, (b) dispositions of businesses via sale, initial public offering, spin-off or otherwise, including failure to achieve projected operational benefit from such transactions and any restrictions, liabilities, losses or indemnification obligations arising from and transitional services or tax arrangements related to the separation of any business, or from the failure of such a separation to qualify for any intended tax-free treatment; (c) entry into joint ventures, or (d) legal entity reorganizations; (10) potential liquidity and other risks resulting from our participation in a securities lending program and other transactions, including any separated business’ incurrence of debt in connection with such a separation; (11) investment losses and defaults, and changes to investment valuations; (12) changes in assumptions related to investment valuations, deferred policy acquisition costs, deferred sales inducements, value of business acquired or goodwill; (13) impairments of goodwill and realized losses or market value impairments to illiquid assets; (14) defaults on our mortgage loans; (15) the defaults or deteriorating credit of other financial institutions that could adversely affect us; (16) economic, political, legal, currency and other risks relating to our international operations, including with respect to fluctuations of exchange rates; (17) downgrades in our claims paying ability, financial strength or credit ratings; (18) a deterioration in the experience of the closed block established in connection with the reorganization of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company; (19) availability and effectiveness of reinsurance, hedging, or indemnification arrangements, as well as any default or failure of counterparties to perform; (20) differences between actual claims experience and underwriting and reserving assumptions; (21) ineffectiveness of risk management policies and procedures; (22) catastrophe losses; (23) increasing cost and limited market capacity for statutory life insurance reserve financings; (24) heightened competition, including with respect to pricing, entry of new competitors, consolidation of distributors, the development of new products by new and existing competitors, and for personnel; (25) exposure to losses related to variable annuity guarantee benefits, including from significant and sustained downturns or extreme volatility in equity markets, reduced interest rates, unanticipated policyholder behavior, mortality or longevity, and any adjustment for nonperformance risk; (26) legal, regulatory and other restrictions affecting MetLife, Inc.’s ability to pay dividends and repurchase common stock; (27) MetLife, Inc.’s and its subsidiary holding companies’ primary reliance, as holding companies, on dividends from its subsidiaries to meet its free cash flow targets and debt payment obligations and the applicable regulatory restrictions on the ability of the subsidiaries to pay such dividends; (28) the possibility that MetLife, Inc.’s Board of Directors may influence the outcome of stockholder votes through the voting provisions of the MetLife Policyholder Trust; (29) changes in accounting standards, practices and/or policies; (30) increased expenses relating to pension and postretirement benefit plans, as well as health care and other employee benefits; (31) inability to protect our intellectual property rights or claims of infringement of the intellectual property rights of others; (32) difficulties in marketing and distributing products through our distribution channels; (33) provisions of laws and our incorporation documents may delay, deter or prevent takeovers and corporate combinations involving MetLife; (34) the effects of business disruption or economic contraction due to disasters such as terrorist attacks, cyberattacks, other hostilities, or natural catastrophes, including any related impact on the value of our investment portfolio, our disaster recovery systems, cyber- or other information security systems and management continuity planning; (35) any failure to protect the confidentiality of client information; (36) the effectiveness of our programs and practices in avoiding giving our associates incentives to take excessive risks; and (37) other risks and uncertainties described from time to time in MetLife, Inc.’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. MetLife, Inc. does not undertake any obligation to publicly correct or update any forward-looking statement if MetLife, Inc. later becomes aware that such statement is not likely to be achieved. Please consult any further disclosures MetLife, Inc. makes on related subjects in reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.


Evans J.A.,NIGL | Chenery C.A.,NIGL | Montgomery J.,Durham University
Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry | Year: 2012

This paper presents a compilation of strontium and oxygen isotope data from human tooth enamel that has been produced at NERC Isotope Geosciences Laboratory over the last c.15 years. These many and often small studies are here combined to provide an overview of data from Britain. The strontium isotope composition ranges between 0.7078 and 0.7165 (excluding individuals deemed to be of non-British origin). The median Sr concentration is 84 ppm but there is a vector of increasing Sr concentrations related to seawater strontium isotope composition that is seen in individuals predominantly from the west coast of Scotland attributed to the used of kelp as a fertilizer. The oxygen isotope data is normally distributed with a mean value of 17.7‰ ± 1.4‰ (2SD n = 615). Two sub-populations of local individuals have been identified that provide control groups for human enamel values from the eastern side of Britain where there are lower rainfall levels: 17.2‰ ± 1.3‰, (2SD, n = 83) and western area of Britain where rainfall levels are higher = 18.2‰ ± 1‰, (2SD, n = 40). These data make it possible to make direct comparisons of population means between burial populations and the control dataset to assess commonality of origin. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Key R.M.,BGS | Pitfield P.E.J.,BGS | Thomas R.J.,BGS | Goodenough K.M.,BGS | And 16 more authors.
Geological Society Special Publication | Year: 2011

Our recent geological survey of the basement of central and northern Madagascar allowed us to re-evaluate the evolution of this part of the East Africa-Antarctica Orogen (EAAO). Five crustal domains are recognized, characterized by distinctive lithologies and histories of sedimentation, magmatism, deformation and metamorphism, and separated by tectonic and/or unconformable contacts. Four consist largely of Archaean metamorphic rocks (Antongil, Masora and Antananarivo Cratons, Tsaratanana Complex). The fifth (Bemarivo Belt) comprises Proterozoic meta-igneous rocks. The older rocks were intruded by plutonic suites at c. 1000 Ma, 820-760 Ma, 630-595 Ma and 560-520 Ma. The evolution of the four Archaean domains and their boundaries remains contentious, with two end-member interpretations evaluated: (1) all five crustal domains are separate tectonic elements, juxtaposed along Neoproterozoic sutures and (2) the four Archaean domains are segments of an older Archaean craton, which was sutured against the Bemarivo Belt in the Neoproterozoic. Rodinia fragmented during the early Neoproterozoic with intracratonic rifts that sometimes developed into oceanic basins. Subsequent Mid- Neoproterozoic collision of smaller cratonic blocks was followed by renewed extension and magmatism. The global 'Terminal Pan-African' event (560-490 Ma) finally stitched together the Mid-Neoproterozoic cratons to form Gondwana. © The Geological Society of London 2011.


Evans J.A.,NIGL | Pashley V.,NIGL | Richards G.J.,University of Bristol | Brereton N.,UK Environment Agency | Knowles T.G.,University of Bristol
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2015

This paper presents lead (Pb) isotope data from samples of farm livestock raised in three areas of Britain that have elevated natural Pb levels: Central Wales, the Mendips and the Derbyshire Peak District. This study highlights three important observations; that the Pb found in modern British meat from these three areas is geogenic and shows no clear evidence of modern tetraethyl anthropogenic Pb contribution; that the generally excellent match between the biological samples and the ore field data, particularly for the Mendip and Welsh data, suggests that this technique might be used to provenance biological products to specific ore sites, under favourable conditions; and that modern systems reflect the same process of biosphere averaging that is analogous to cultural focusing in human archaeological studies that is the process of biological averaging leading to an homogenised isotope signature with increasing Pb concentration. © 2015.


PubMed | NIGL, University of Bristol and UK Environment Agency
Type: | Journal: The Science of the total environment | Year: 2015

This paper presents lead (Pb) isotope data from samples of farm livestock raised in three areas of Britain that have elevated natural Pb levels: Central Wales, the Mendips and the Derbyshire Peak District. This study highlights three important observations; that the Pb found in modern British meat from these three areas is geogenic and shows no clear evidence of modern tetraethyl anthropogenic Pb contribution; that the generally excellent match between the biological samples and the ore field data, particularly for the Mendip and Welsh data, suggests that this technique might be used to provenance biological products to specific ore sites, under favourable conditions; and that modern systems reflect the same process of biosphere averaging that is analogous to cultural focusing in human archaeological studies that is the process of biological averaging leading to an homogenised isotope signature with increasing Pb concentration.


Najman Y.,Lancaster University | Appel E.,University of Tübingen | Boudagher-Fadel M.,University College London | Bown P.,University College London | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth | Year: 2010

A range of ages have been proposed for the timing of India-Asia collision; the range to some extent reflects different definitions of collision and methods used to date it. In this paper we discuss three approaches that have been used to constrain the time of collision: the time of cessation of marine facies, the time of the first arrival of Asian detritus on the Indian plate, and the determination of the relative positions of India and Asia through time. In the Qumiba sedimentary section located south of the Yarlung Tsangpo suture in Tibet, a previous work has dated marine facies at middle to late Eocene, by far the youngest marine sediments recorded in the region. By contrast, our biostratigraphic data indicate the youngest marine facies preserved at this locality are 50.6-52.8 Ma, in broad agreement with the timing of cessation of marine facies elsewhere throughout the region. Double dating of detrital zircons from this formation, by U-Pb and fission track methods, indicates an Asian contribution to the rocks thus documenting the time of arrival of Asian material onto the Indian plate at this time and hence constraining the time of India-Asia collision. Our reconstruction of the positions of India and Asia by using a compilation of published palaeomagnetic data indicates initial contact between the continents in the early Eocene. We conclude the paper with a discussion on the viability of a recent assertion that collision between India and Asia could not have occurred prior to ∼35 Ma. Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.

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