The ING Group, a Dutch financial institution working in the banking and insurance industries, has announced that it will be abandoning its plans for a combined European and Asian insurance investment operation. The company cites economic turmoil in the European region as the primary reason for its change of heart. Future investment and insurance plans are still a possibility for the future, if the European financial crisis is resolved appropriately. The company still has a keen interest in the Asian market, however, and plans to pursue alternative schemes to expand its insurance offerings in that market.
By abandoning its original plans, the ING Group has opened the way for a $6.4 billion trade sale. Several Asian businesses have shown interest in the deal, but no sale has yet been made. The ING Group is attempting to sell off some of its insurance operations as part of a plan with the European Commission, a branch of the European Union. The plan dictates that ING must reduce its insurance holdings or spin then off into subsidiaries as the result of the $15 billion in financial aid it received from the agency.
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The ING Group is currently embroiled in a debate with the European Commission, hoping to be able to retain the majority of its insurance and investment operations in the region. If the effort fails, the company will have to take steps to honor its part of the financial aid bargain.
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