ING posts rising profits thanks to sale of Indian unit

GMT 11:43 2015 Wednesday ,05 August

Arab Today, arab today ING posts rising profits thanks to sale of Indian unit

Dutch bank ING
The Hague - AFP

Top Dutch bank ING posted a rise in second quarter net profits but the increase was due to the sale of an Indian unit, leaving its shares sliding in morning trading.

The net profit of 1.36 billion euros ($1.48 billion) was a 27 percent rise from the April through June period last year, but the increase was entirely due to the sale of ING's Indian subsidiary Vysya Bank for 367 million euros.

And compared to the first quarter of this year, the net profit was down 23 percent.

The bank's shares were down 1.7 percent to 15.34 euros in morning trading in Amsterdam, where the main AEX index was up 0.37 percent.

However ING's chief executive Ralph Hamers called the results strong, focusing on a 25.3 percent year-on-year gain in operating profit to 1.6 billion euros, although this was still a 3.6 percent drop from the first quarter of this year.

"During the first six months of 2015, ING gained over 600,000 new individual customers," said Hamers, noting robust deposit and loan growth.

ING was bailed out to the tune of 10 billion euros in 2008 after the global financial crisis struck, but the European Commission obliged it to exit the insurance business.

In March it sold off the last stake it held in its former US insurance unit Voya and is reducing its stake in local insurer NN.

ING paid off the 10 billion euros plus interest it owed the Dutch government last November, seven months early.

The bank proposed paying a dividend of 0.24 euros per share for the first half of 2015, after having paid out 0.12 euros per share for 2014 in its first dividend payment since its 2008 bailout.

The bank said it had cut 5,650 jobs since 2011 as part of cost-cutting programmes, with its global headcount at 52,700 on June 30.

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