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CORRECTED - UPDATE 4-ING to post first quarterly loss, shares slump
October 17, 2008 / 10:38 AM / in 9 years

CORRECTED - UPDATE 4-ING to post first quarterly loss, shares slump

* ING sees 500 mln euro Q3 loss

* Still assessing government capital injection plan

* Shares slump 27.5 percent to 13-year low (Corrects to make clear in paragraph 12 Barclays did not take government funding)

By Gilbert Kreijger

AMSTERDAM, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Dutch bank ING ING.AS said it expects its first quarterly loss ever, hit by financial market turmoil and falling asset prices, sending its shares to a 13-year low.

“ING’s business model is sound and our commercial performance is solid, however that does not mean that we are immune to the external environment,” ING Chief Executive Michel Tilmant said in a statement on Friday.

“The crisis is far-reaching, and even the healthiest companies are feeling the negative effects.”

ING said it expected to post a net loss of about 500 million euros ($674 million), its first quarterly loss since the group was formed in 1991. A spokesman said ING would still post a profit of around 2.5 billion euros for the first nine months of 2008.

ING said that third-quarter impairments on stocks and bonds, losses attributable to financial counterparties and fair value changes on property amounted to 1.6 billion euros. Loan loss provisions at the bank increased to about 400 million euros.

ING Bank’s core tier-1 ratio, a measure of financial strength, was at 6.5 percent and its tier-1 ratio was above target at 8.5 percent at the end of the third quarter. [nHUGBSRZKa]

“There is no issue on the solvency. That was the most important message to send out,” said an analyst who did not wish to be named.

ING shares initially trimmed losses but closed 27.5 percent lower at 7.335 euros. The DJ Stoxx European insurance index .SXIP was down 2.9 percent. Earlier in the day, the shares had dropped on concerns about ING’s capital position.

The bank said it will consider a Dutch government programme to inject capital into financial institutions once details are available.

The Dutch government has set aside 20 billion euros ($27 billion) for capital injections into financial institutions and is also prepared to guarantee interbank loans.

Larger financial stocks such as ING and Aegon (AEGN.AS) had welcomed the government steps, but did not indicate whether they planned to make use of the capital, while smaller firms such as SNS Reaal SR.AS, Van Lanschot (VLAN.AS) and BinckBank (BINCK.AS) said they did not need any government money.

Britain had earlier announced similar measures, and this week British banks Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L), HBOS HBOS.L and Lloyds TSB (LLOY.L) took the funding lifeline and effectively became partially nationalised.

The finance ministry would not say on Friday whether it has been in discussions with financial institutions over capital injections.

ING’s Belgian-Dutch rival Fortis FOR.BR was broken up earlier this month, partly nationalised by the Dutch government and partly sold off to French rival BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) as some Fortis clients and counterparty banks pulled their money from the bank.

ING said all information was preliminary and final third-quarter results will be released on Nov. 12. (Additional reporting by Aaron Gray-Block in Amsterdam; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter, Paul Bolding)

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