Today a statement posted on ING Groep N.V. (NYSE:ING)’s website reports, that the European Commission has agreed to major amendments to the bank’s plan for restructuring. The amendments take into account the current economic climate and changes in the market, like the new stricter regulation requirements.
According to the agreement, ING Groep N.V. (NYSE:ING) will pay back the Dutch State the rest of the 3 billion euros in bailout funds it still owes in core Tier 1 securities. It will also pay a 50 percent premium. The full amount will be made in four equal payments within the next three years. The first payment will be 1.125 million euros, which will be paid later this month.
In addition, the agreement allows ING Groep N.V. (NYSE:ING) to have more time to sell off its insurance businesses in the U.S., Asia and Europe. The bank intends to sell off its business in Asia in parts and launch two IPOs from its U.S. and Europe businesses. The agreement states that half of the bank’s Asian operations must be divested by the end of next year. By the end of 2016, the other half must be divested. At least 25 percent of the bank’s U.S. insurance operations must be divested by the end of next year, while more than half has to be sold by the end of 2014 and the rest by the end of 2016. Half of ING’s European insurance assets must be sold by the end of 2015, and the rest must be sold by the end of 2018.
The original restructuring agreement required ING Groep N.V. (NYSE:ING) to sell off WestlandUtrecht Bank independently, but the new agreement no longer requires it to do that. Instead WestlandUtrecht Bank will be combined with Nationale-Nederlanden, which must be sold off along with ING’s European insurance operations.
So far it does seem as if the capital support ING Groep N.V. (NYSE:ING) received from the Dutch State has strengthened its position. Equity for the bank’s shareholders has more than doubled since September 2008. Additionally, the bank has already made great progress in repaying the capital support. So far, ING has paid back 7 billion euros in principal payments and 2 billion euros in premiums and interest.