Macquarie Bank to Acquire ING's Asian Equities Businesses

  HONG KONG, March 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Macquarie Bank has today entered into a
sale and purchase agreement with ING Group (ING) to acquire 100 percent of the
ING Asian cash equity sales, sales trading, facilitation trading, execution,
research and equity capital markets businesses across Asia, including some
corporate vehicles.  Financial details of the transaction are subject to a
confidentiality agreement between the parties. 
This follows the announcement in early February that both parties were in
exclusive due diligence in relation to the proposed purchase of the
businesses, which operate in 10 Asian locations:  Hong Kong, Korea, Japan,
Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines,
as well as ING's Asian sales and trading desks in London, New York and other
European and North American locations. 
The Head of Macquarie Bank's Investment Banking Group, Mr Nicholas Moore,
said Macquarie regarded the highly rated professionals in the businesses as a
good strategic fit with Macquarie's ambitions in Asia. 
"This acquisition, which includes 428 staff, gives Macquarie the
opportunity to join a successful and complementary equities platform with the
Bank's existing Asian investment banking operations and Macquarie's successful
equities business in Australia," he said. 
Macquarie Bank Managing Director and CEO, Mr Allan Moss, said the
acquisition will be an excellent outcome for staff and clients in both
organisations.  "We are keen to make our new staff as welcome as possible.
This transaction is about new people as much as businesses.  We have high
regard for ING's staff and we look forward to them having successful and
satisfying careers with Macquarie Bank." 
In commenting on the impact of the transaction, Mr Moss said it would not
have a material impact on Macquarie's balance sheet but was a significant
transaction because of its potential. 
"It will increase Macquarie's staff by 8 percent," he said. 
Mr Moore added that the profit contribution of the business would depend
entirely on the markets and the operating performance of the team. 
He said a key priority for Macquarie would be to maintain a high level of
service to ING's clients through the transition period and thereafter. 
"This acquisition will give Macquarie critical mass in institutional
broking in the Asia-Pacific, which is our home region.  It allows Macquarie to
broaden its activities and is an ideal extension to Macquarie's existing
infrastructure, equity capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, and other
investment banking capabilities in our region." 
"Our intention is to expand this business.  We do not expect any net job
losses.  Any alteration to staffing in the short-term would be minimal.  We
are confident we will be able to quickly obtain leverage from combining the
former ING operations with our existing business and we are working closely
with the senior management team at ING to ensure a smooth transition," he
Completion of the purchase is subject to regulatory approvals in several
countries and is expected to formally close before 31 July, 2004.  Macquarie
will fund the acquisition from internal resources. 
"Macquarie's management team is enormously excited about the potential for
financial services in Asia and the opportunities this acquisition presents to
strengthen our business and teams in our region," Mr Moore said. 
ING's Asian cash equities business is one of the most geographically
diverse businesses in Asia.  It comprises cash equity sales, facilitation
trading, execution, research and equity capital markets businesses in
10 countries including Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Thailand,
Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, as well as the sales,
sales trading and trading teams in Europe and the US. 
Following the sale, ING will continue to conduct a wide range of corporate
and investment banking activities across 12 countries in Asia. 
ING Group is active in insurance, banking and asset management across
14 countries in the Asia Pacific region where it employs over 13,000 people.
ING Group has over 60 million private, corporate and institutional clients in
60 countries and employs over 115,000 people globally.  ING is listed on the
stock exchanges of Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, Paris, the Swiss exchanges
and the New York Stock Exchange.  ING has a market capitalization of euro
42.2 billion. 
The Macquarie Group is a diversified international provider of specialist
financial and investment banking services with 5000 people in 18 countries.
The Macquarie Group comprises Macquarie Bank, the leading Australian
investment bank, and its worldwide affiliated entities. 
Since 1992 Macquarie has reported successive years of record profits and
consistent growth.  Our approach is driven by a deliberate focus on areas of
business where our particular skills and expertise deliver a real advantage
for clients.  As a result we have established leading positions in a diverse
range of market segments and regions internationally.  Technical expertise,
strong risk management and an enterprising approach underlie all activities. 
Macquarie has a significant and expanding presence in Asia, with over
200 staff operating in South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and
China.  Macquarie also operates in selected markets across North America,
South America, the UK, Europe and Africa.  Macquarie is a top 30 company
listed on the Australian Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation of
$A7.4 billion as at March 8, 2004.

SOURCE  Macquarie Bank 
-0-                             03/08/2004 
/CONTACT:  Allison Mink Levine, +1-212-601-8348, or Kate Alexander,
+1-212-601-8286, both of Porter Novelli, for Macquarie Bank/ 
CO:  Macquarie Bank; ING Group
ST:  China, Australia
-0- Mar/08/2004 14:43 GMT
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