Faced with a deadline set by regulators, the ING Groep NV is searching for buyers for its Southeast Asian and part of its Japanese insurance businesses. Already bidding for the Japanese arm of the business is Manulife Financial Corp. Their interest in purchasing the Japanese operation is as part of a larger deal for ING units in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.
On August 8 ING announced that its asset management firms were valued at 6.6 billion euros ($8.3 billion.) ING operates in predominantly emerging markets such as Malaysia where yearly incomes are on the rise, propelling forward demand. ING also operates in Japan which is dealing with an aging population and deflation.
ING is selling its Japanese stake without their variable annuities business. ING no longer sells variable annuities in Japan, and has not done so since 2009. According to a spokeswoman for ING, Victorina de Boer there are still 384,000 outstanding variable annuity policies with a total account value of 17.9 billion euros held in Japan.