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AMSTERDAM Feb 14 Dutch financial services group
ING said it sold its 5 percent stake in South Korea's
KB Financial Group to institutional investors for
about 500 million euros ($672 million), confirming a report by
ING said the stake was sold in a block trade to
institutional investors after the close of the Korea Exchange in
Seoul on Thursday, and will result in an after-tax profit of
about 100 million euros.
The banking and insurance group is in the process of
divesting several businesses in Asia to help repay a 10 billion
euro state bailout received during the 2008 global financial
"The transaction is in line with ING's strategic objectives
to sharpen its focus and further strengthen its capital
position," ING said in a statement.
ING said its previously announced plan to sell its insurance
and investment management businesses in Asia, including ING Life
Korea and a 49 percent stake in KB Life Insurance, which is a
joint venture with KB Financial Group, was ongoing.
ING said it obtained its stake in KB Financial Group in 1999
through an investment in Korean bank H&CB, one of the companies
which later formed KB Financial Group.
ING on Wednesday reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter
earnings and unveiled plans to cut 2,400 more jobs in its retail
banking business in preparation to separate its banking and
insurance operations to comply with terms of the bailout.
(Reporting by Sara Webb; Editing by Alison Birrane)