March 23, 2012 / 4:00 AM / 8 years ago

ING puts $775 million Thailand bank stake on block: sources

(Reuters) - ING Groep NV ING.AS has put its roughly $775 million stake in Thailand’s TMB Bank Pcl (TMB.BK) on the block as the bailed-out Dutch financial services group pushes ahead with its Asian divestments, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

ING recently hired an investment bank to help find a buyer for its 31 percent stake in TMB Bank, the sources added, underscoring the seriousness with which the Dutch company wants to pursue the auction.

ING and TMB declined comment. The sources declined to be identified as the matter was not public.

ING bought the stake in Thailand’s seventh-largest lender in 2007 for 460 million euros ($607 million). The Thai government, which owns a 26.1 percent stake in TMB, has said in the past that it wants to sell its entire stake.

ING, which received a 10 billion euro Dutch government bailout during the financial crisis, is expected to sell its Asian insurance and investment management business in a deal estimated to be worth over $6 billion.

ING owns a 25.2 percent direct stake in TMB and 5.84 percent though non-voting depository receipts.

($1 = 0.7582 euros)

Reporting by Michael Flaherty and Denny Thomas in HONG KONG; Additional reporting by Saeed Azhar in SINGAPORE, Ploy Ten Kate in BANGKOK, Gilbert Kreijger in AMSTERDAM; Editing by Chris Lewis

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