ING books ‘solid’ first quarter, insurance arm sale on target for 2014
Financial services group ING said on Wednesday it had booked a ‘solid’ first quarter despite ‘despite a challenging operating environment and weak macroeconomic climate’.
First-quarter net profit reached €1.8bn, up from €728m a year ago, which was broadly in line with analysts forecasts. Net profit was boosted by divestments. Excluding one-offs, net profit would have risen €800m, the bank said in a statement.
ING also said it is to push ahead with the initial public offering of its European insurance unit in 2014. Nationale Nederland forms the core of that unit. The divestment will be done in stages.
Chief executive Jan Hommen refused to comment on the reported dispute between ING and the finance ministry over the sale of its US mortgage portfolio.
The bank was forced to take a provision of €82m on its Dutch mortgage portfolio because of mounting unemployment and a continuing fall in house prices, the Financieele Dagblad said. The provision totaled €33m in the final quarter of last year.
The number of mortgages in arrears of more than 90 days rose from 0.9% to 1.5%.
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