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ING in talks to sell majority stake in German bank

Dutch financial services provider ING has revealed it is in discussions with regard to the possible sale of its 83.7% stake in Deutsche Hypothekenbank, a publicly-listed mortgage bank in Germany which specializes in large-scale commercial financing.

Deutsche Hypothekenbank had total assets of E33.2 billion as of year-end 2005, including a mortgage portfolio of E7.9 billion and E13.9 billion in public-sector loans and bonds. The bank posted an annual net income of E32.7 million last year, ING said in a statement.

ING acquired the stake in 1999 as part of the purchase of BHF-Bank. The potential sale is part of ING’s strategy to focus on core businesses and allocate capital to those businesses where it can generate the highest returns.

The current discussions follow the sale of most of BHF-Bank to Sal. Oppenheim at the end of 2004.