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ING Is Considering Buying a Stake in Euronext, CEO Says

ING Groep NV, the biggest Dutch financial-services company, is considering buying a stake in Euronext NV as IntercontinentalExchange Group Inc. prepares to spin off the European stock-exchange operator.

ING hasn’t made a final decision, Carolien van der Giessen, a spokeswoman for the Amsterdam-based bank, said by telephone today, confirming comments made by Chief Executive Officer Ralph Hamers to reporters in Paris yesterday.

ICE plans to find buyers for as much as 30 percent of Euronext, the operator of the Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Lisbon exchanges, before it goes public this year, three people with knowledge of the matter said at the start of this year. European regulators will require ICE to keep a 25 percent stake in the exchange for three years after the initial public offering, unless it can attract investors prepared to hold the shares for the long term, the people said. ICE became owner of the exchange through its purchase of NYSE Euronext in November.

Belgium may take up a stake of 50 million euros ($69 million) to 100 million euros and France’s Caisse des Depots et Consignations may also participate, Belgian newspaper De Tijd reported today. KBC Groep NV, ABN Amro Group NV, BNP Paribas SA, Societe Generale SA and Banco Espirito Santo SA are also interested, the paper said. The Netherlands isn’t planning to buy a stake, Dutch newswire ANP reported today, citing Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

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