Shares of ING U.S. rise in NYSE debut

Thu May 2, 2013 11:45am EDT

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(Reuters) - Shares of ING U.S. Inc (VOYA.N) were up slightly in their New York Stock Exchange debut on Thursday after opening down 1 percent.

Shares exchanged hands at $20.10 in late-morning trading after opening at $19.45 as the company, an affiliate of Dutch financial services company ING Groep NV (ING.AS)(ING.N), raised $1.3 billion in its initial public offering.

ING U.S. sold more shares than expected but at a lower price - 65.2 million shares at $19.50. It had planned to sell 64.2 million shares in a range of $21 to $24 each.

The IPO was offered by both ING U.S. and its parent. The proceeds are intended to be about $600 million.

ING Groep's ownership fells to 75 percent after the IPO. The parent will shed the rest of its stake by 2016.

ING Groep has divested several businesses around the world and cut thousands of jobs as it prepares to separate its banking and insurance operations under the terms of a government bailout. It received a 10 billion euro ($12.71 billion) capital infusion from the Dutch government in 2008 and has been selling assets to repay the bailout.

ING U.S., with around 13 million customers, provides insurance, retirement and investment services and competes with companies like MetLife Inc (MET.N) and Prudential Financial Inc (PRU.N).

The company, led by former American International Group Inc (AIG.N) executive Rodney Martin, said it will change its name to Voya Financial by 2014.

ING U.S. reported net income of $473 million last year.

The company and its rivals have been pressured by a low interest rate environment, meaning lower returns on investment portfolios.

One bright spot may be the retirement sector, as insurance companies look to take advantage of the baby boomer segment.

"A lot of these guys are not saving enough so they have a strong demand for retirement and savings products that ING and others provide," said Vincent Lui, an analyst with Morningstar.

The ING IPO is the second largest float in the United States this year, behind Pfizer Inc's (PFE.N) animal health spinoff Zoetis Inc (ZTS.N) which raised $2.2 billion in January.

U.S. IPO proceeds have risen 22 percent from a year ago to $36.9 billion as of May 1, according to Thomson Reuters data.

"Although the ING U.S. deal priced below the range, it still underlines the health of the U.S. IPO market because large deals can get done at respected valuations," said Josef Schuster, founder of IPOX Schuster, a Chicago-based IPO research and investment house.

Morgan Stanley (MS.N), Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) and Citigroup Inc (C.N) led the IPO.

(Reporting by Olivia Oran; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Nick Zieminski and Jeffrey Benkoe)

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