The upward trend got confirmation: insurance sell started
ING Has Started Preparations For Possible Sale ING Direct USA 9:08a ET March 9, 2011 (Dow Jones) ING Has Started Preparations For Possible Sale ING Direct USA
AMSTERDAM (Dow Jones)--Dutch financial services company ING Groep NV (INGA.AE) said Wednesday it has started preparations for a possible sale of ING Direct USA, an online savings bank it is required to divest by the European Commission before the end of 2013. "We started preparations to comply with these requirements. This is prudent policy," an ING spokesman said. He declined to comment on a New York Post report earlier Wednesday that said ING has hired Deutsche Bank as its financial advisor. "In these kind of processes it's normal to hire advisors to explore options," the spokesman said. ING was ordered by the European Commission to sell ING Direct USA as a condition for approving the government bailout the company got during the financial crisis. The disposal is part of a wider restructuring in which ING will nearly halve its balance sheet and spin off its insurance arm and some other banking assets. However, ING has signaled on a number of occasions that it would like to keep ING Direct USA. The company is engaged in a lawsuit against the commission in which it is contesting some terms of the restructuring that the EU's executive body imposed upon it. ING argues that the restructuring is unnecessarily onerous. It hopes that if it wins the appeal it may be able to keep its online savings bank in the U.S. The European Court in Luxembourg is expected to rule on the issue in the course of this year.
-By Maarten van Tartwijk; Dow Jones Newswires; +31 20 571 5201; firstname.lastname@example.org