The Netherlands ING Group announced that it is selling its 49% shareholding in Mexico’s Seguros Bital to Grupo Financiero Bital, S.A., a wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings, plc. for $148 million. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2003.
“Seguros Bital is active in bancassurance and is a multi-line insurance company focused on the personal customer market,” said the announcement. “The company has approximately five hundred employees and more than one million clients. The bancassurance joint venture Seguros Bital was established in 1998, when Grupo Financiero Bital sold 49% of its shares to ING. ING has now decided to exercise its option to sell the shareholding back to Grupo Financiero Bital.”
Fred Hubbell, Executive Board member of ING Group and Chairman and CEO of ING Americas, stated: “Together with HSBC, we will explore alternative options to continue certain aspects of the commercial relationship between Seguros Bital and ING. We are looking forward to further developing a new form of successful cooperation.”
ING noted that “Over the last seven years, ING has become an insurance leader in the Mexican market through its subsidiary ING Comercial América, the largest insurance company in the country. In Mexico, ING has a total of 5070 employees, 7.8 million customers and USD 5.2 billion assets under management. ING Comercial América will continue to offer life, health and property & casualty insurance to commercial and retail customers through a multiple distribution channel. ING in Mexico is also active in the pension business (ING Comercial América – Afore) wholesale banking (ING Wholesale) and in asset management (ING Investment Management).”
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