ING boost as shareholders buy discount shares
Shareholders of bank and insurance group ING received a hefty discount of close to 40 percent on shares Wednesday, helping the Dutch company cut its reliance on the state and clearing the way for its programme of mandated asset sales.Amsterdam--ING says investors took up to 97 percent of almost 1.77 billion new shares - on top of more than two billion shares currently outstanding -- in the EUR 7.5 billion offering.
The transaction is the eighth largest rights issue globally and ING will use the bulk of the proceeds to repay half of the EUR 10 billion in state aid that it got last year to bail it out of the financial crisis. The EUR five billion will be paid to the government before Christmas.
The firm announced the rights issue on 26 October to coincide with news of a breakup plan. The group is splitting its operations as part of a restructuring deal with the European Commission reached following the financial bailout.
ING is selling off its insurance assets, its investment management activities, its Dutch mortgage operations and its US online bank by the end of 2013. It aims to be a heavily European-focused retail bank by then, with some investments in Asia.
Radio Netherlands/ Expatica