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ING looks to selling Asian insurance unit


ING looks to selling Asian insurance unit


Dutch bank and insurer ING is likely to sell its Asian insurance division in several separate deals to get the best price.

Reportedly the offers there have been for the whole business are not attractive enough.

That makes the most likely scenario a three-way split of ING’s insurance assets into Southeast Asia, South Korea and the attractive pieces of the Japanese business, a strategy which could net ING a higher overall price and which could speed up the divestment process.

“The sales process for our insurance and investment management businesses in Asia is on track,” chief executive Jan Hommen said

ING, which needed state aid during the 2008 global financial crisis, is selling assets to meet conditions set by the European Commission for its bailout and to repay the Dutch government.

The company is also preparing to list its European and US insurance units on stock markets with initial public offerings of shares.

ING has just reported lower-than-expected second-quarter results as its bank was hit by losses and provisions on loans, mainly in Spain and Greece.

Its insurance business was hurt by a weak performance in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

“As the eurozone crisis deteriorated, we accelerated our efforts to de-risk the investment portfolio at the bank, and brought down our Spanish exposure to reduce the funding mismatch in that country,” CEO Hommen said, adding that ING would continue to cut its exposure to Spanish debt.

Net profit fell a worse than expected 22 percent to 1.17 billion euros.

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