ING to sell Thai fund unit to Singapore's UOB For $12.8 mln

Reuters

HONG KONG, Nov 20 (Reuters) - ING Groep NV agreedto sell its Thailand asset management unit to Singapore's UnitedOverseas Bank Ltd for 10 million euros ($12.8 million)in cash, as the Dutch financial group pushed ahead with itsAsian divestments.

After failing to find a single buyer for its entire Asiabusiness, ING is breaking up the sale along differentgeographies. The disposal of the Thai unit leaves ING with assetmanagement operations in South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia,Taiwan and Japan.

The sale is part of ING's wider asset disposal programmeaimed at repaying the 10-billion-euro ($12.7 billion) statebailout received during the 2008 financial crisis. Last month,ING agreed to sell part of its Asia insurance operations for$3.8 billion.

UOB, the smallest of Singapore's three banks, said in astatement on Tuesday that ING's Thai unit held about 113.8billion baht ($3.70 billion) of assets as of the end ofSeptember. The purchase is not expected to have a materialimpact on UOB's earnings, the bank said.

The Thai unit is the third-biggest of ING's Asian fundmanagement unit. South Korea is the largest and Taiwan thesecond-biggest.

ING's Asia investment management business has a book valueof 200 million euros and manages about 43.3 billion euros ofassets in the Asia-Pacific region, according to company filings.

ING was advised by Credit Suisse, while Nomura Holdingsadvised UOB, sources with knowledge of the matter said.

The Dutch group launched the sale of its Asian insurance andasset management operations in March.

The sale of its entire Asia asset management operations raninto a snag after front runner Ameriprise Financial Inc bowed out of the race, forcing ING to rework its strategy toexit the business, according to the sources.

The sources declined to be identified as they were notauthorised to speak about deal publicly.

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