Dutch banking and insurance group ING Groep NV said yesterday it was selling its insurance businesses in Hong Kong and Macau to Pacific Century Group for US$2.14 billion in cash.
“This transaction underscores the steady progress we continue to make in our restructuring,” in which the Dutch group plans to sell off its insurance, but not banking activities in Asia, ING chief executive Jan Hommen said in a press release.
ING announced last week it would sell off its Malaysian insurance activities for approximately US$1.7 billion.
The Dutch group said the latest transaction, which also includes its Thai combined life insurance operations, would deliver a net gain of approximately US$1.3 billion in the first quarter of next year.
Pacific Century Group is a private firm founded by Richard Li (李澤楷), chairman of Hong Kong’s largest telecoms operator, HKT, and has interests in financial services, real estate, satellite communications, media and telecommunications services in Asia.
ING put its Asian business up for sale in January after scrapping plans to float the unit along with its European insurance operations, saying a tough market in Europe no longer made a combined European-Asian IPO sensible.
The European Commission has told ING to restructure its business, as the Dutch company seeks to repay 10 billion euros (US$13 billion) in state aid it received in October 2008 during the financial crisis.