(Reuters) - MetLife Inc <MET.N> said on Thursday its board had approved a new $3 billion share buyback program, its largest ever.

If the company bought shares at Wednesday's closing price of $51.28, it would be able to repurchase about 58 million shares, according to Reuters calculation.

MetLife has about 1.1 billion shares outstanding.

MetLife's stock was up 2 percent at $52.30 in light premarket trading on Thursday. Up to Wednesday's close, the stock had risen 6.4 pct this year.

(Reporting by Richa Naidu in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr)