Page last updated at 19:51 GMT, Wednesday, 25 November 2009

ING shareholders back share issue and company split

ING bank
ING plans to make itself a much smaller firm

Dutch financial services group ING has gained shareholder approval for a 7.5bn euros ($11.2bn; £6.8bn) share issue, and plans to split the business.

ING said 99% of shareholders backed the proposals, which will see it sell its insurance business within four years to instead focus on its banking operation.

While no date has yet been set for the share issue, it is expected to take place in the coming months.

ING plans to pay off some of the 10bn euros of state aid it got last year.

'Preferable'

Like many global banks, ING required government financial support as a result of bad debts and the global credit crunch.

The decision to split the firm in two was required by European Commission competition regulators as a result of ING gaining the state aid.

"We think a split is preferable to keeping the bank and insurer together," said a spokesman for Dutch shareholder group VEB.

"It will strongly reduce the risk profile, and this will benefit us as investors."



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