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ING loses 10% of institutional assets in revamp

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NETHERLANDS – ING’s asset management arm lost €13.8bn, or more than 10%, of its institutional assets under management in the last three months of 2004 - due to the reclassification of assets and a disposal.

According to ING’s 2004 earnings report, institutional assets under management declined to €119.6bn at the end of the year.

This was down 4.8% on the end-2003 figure and 10.3% and €13.8bn lower than the €133.4bn posted at the end of the third quarter of 2004.

A spokesman said the decline was partly due to the sale of Delta Asset Management, which accounted for €3.5bn of assets. And pension assets in Peru and Mexico, as well as some ING Real Estate assets, were reclassified from institutional to retail, although the spokesman was not able to provide figures.

Total assets under management for third parties rose 6.8% to €334.8bn over 2003.

ING disclosed that in the fourth quarter institutional fixed income sales reached €800m, including a €400m mandate from a US transportation agency.

ING Real Estate’s total portfolio rose by €7.9bn to €50.1bn. “The increase was driven by strong organic growth in real estate finance and investment management,” the report said.

Pre-tax profit at ING’s asset management division rose 14% to €484m. “This growth was mainly realised by the institutional asset management businesses of ING Real Estate and Baring Asset Management, as well as ING Investment Management and private banking.”

Asset management accounts for seven percent of ING’s total pre-tax operating profit.

ING also said that inflows into its pension fund businesses in central Europe increased 42.4% to €850m. It said it started sales of a second-pillar pension fund in Slovakia in January 2005.

Overall, ING posted a 33% rise in net profit to €5.4bn. “In all, the financial results in 2004 were encouraging,” said chairman and chief executive Michael Tilmant.

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