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ING Closing Equity Asset Management in Middle East as Team Quits

Feb. 3 (Bloomberg) -- ING Groep NV, the biggest Dutch financial-services company, is ending its equity investment management business in the Middle East and North Africa after its Dubai-based team quit.

Farah Foustok, chief executive officer of the business in the region, is among those leaving, Karl Hanuska, a spokesman for ING Investment Management in The Hague, said today in a response to questions. The Dubai office will remain as a sales office, he said, declining to say where the team will now work. Foustok didn’t immediately return calls to her cell ’phone.

ING is disposing of global insurance and asset management operations as it completes a European Union imposed restructuring program, a condition for a 2008 taxpayer bailout. Last month it announced a deal to sell its Taiwanese asset management business to Nomura Holdings Inc. and a group of investors. The bank is preparing to sell its insurance operations in Europe and Japan, together with its asset management operations in the Middle East, Europe, Singapore, Japan and U.S. in an initial public offering this year.

The closure “is in line with the overall strategy of ING IM to only continue full-fledged local for local asset management operations business in countries where ING also has a strong insurance presence,” Hanuska said.

ING Investment Management had about $238 billion in assets at the end of September, according to its website. The Dubai team managed about 314 million euros ($424 million) at year end, he said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Zainab Fattah in Dubai at zfattah@bloomberg.net; Maud van Gaal in Amsterdam at mvangaal@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net

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