September 29, 2008 / 9:40 PM / 11 years ago

ING will not make offer for ABN AMRO Netherlands

AMSTERDAM, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Dutch financial services group ING Groep NV ING.AS(ING.N) said on Monday it will not make an offer for ABN AMRO’s Dutch operations which Belgian-Dutch peer Fortis NV FOR.BRFOR.AS wants to sell.

“After careful consideration ING concluded that a transaction would not meet its financial requirements,” ING said in a statement.

“ING remains committed to a disciplined approach when considering acquisitions, especially in the current extraordinary market circumstances,” it said.

ING was expected to close a deal within two weeks on buying ABN’s Dutch operations, people familiar with discussions said earlier on Monday.

ING shares closed down 18.2 percent at 14.35 euros, hurt by a sell-off across the European financial sector, with the DJ Stoxx European insurance index .SXIP dropping 7.7 percent.

The possibility that ING would finance an ABN purchase by issuing shares could have been a factor weighing on ING’s shares, Van Lanschot Bankiers analyst Michel van der Stee said before the market closed.

Fortis said on Monday it would sell ABN AMRO’s Dutch operations, excluding its asset management arm, as part of a plan to restore confidence in the bank and boost its financial strength.

The sale of the business bought just 11 months was announced alongside a partial nationalisation of Fortis by the governments of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. [ID:nLT408294]

Fortis bought ABN’s Dutch operations for 24 billion euros ($34.4 billion) last year as part of a 70-billion-euro deal together with Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS.L) and Spain’s Banco Santander SA (SAN.MC) to carve up ABN.

Analysts said Fortis could fetch 7 to 10 billion euros for the ABN operations it wants to sell. (Reporting by Gilbert Kreijger; Editing by Andre Grenon)

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