these are assets that are marketable and are less devalued than other items (ie not selling as low). They most likely are not a good fit with their core business models / as they have stated they are getting back to basics. I have confidence that ING will continue to pay divi on their hybrid capital securities (my core holding in ING)
I personally went with ING's plain old common stock ADR, and I was planning to hold it for at least a couple of years.. so I'm concerned with the company's future performance, beyond the div date on its securities. I have a lot of confidence in this company, but these latest sales decisions concern me. Assuming that ING does sell these branches, will it then be permanently barred from opening up new branches in these countries/regions altogether? It seems like it's not only selling the established businesses, but the right to do business in entire continents. To me, this looks like a very bad decision. I'm hoping that I'm just misunderstanding what is being sold here.
World's largest companies are still in the midst of deleveraging. Picture your own company operating in all 50 states in this economy. You have to raise cash from asset sales as internally generated cash flow will not suffice to repay government bailout funds. Until those funds are repaid you cannot act even in your shareholders' best interests, let alone the company's best interests. For example no dividends until gov't funds are repaid. Ing is doing what it has to do to maximize shareholder value- , but at this point, in my opinion, it is looking at both short term tactics - repay bailout money and long term strategy - getting back to their most familiar territory.
ING will increase in value however, it may take longer than people anticipate. Patience will be rewarded.