ING to sell its stake in China fund JV to local partners

ING Groep will sell its 33.3% stake in Shenzhen-based China Merchants Fund Management Co. to joint venture partners China Merchants Bank and China Merchants Securities, confirmed Victorina de Boer, an ING spokeswoman.

According to an ING news release, ING will receive €98 million ($127 million) for its stake, an expected net gain of €64 million on its investment in the venture, which was established Dec. 27, 2002.

According to an announcement on China Merchants Bank’s website, it will acquire an additional 21.6% stake in China Merchants Fund Management from ING, making it the firm’s controlling shareholder with a 55% stake.

An announcement on China Merchants Securities’ website said it will pick up an additional 11.7% stake, bringing its overall stake to 45%.

Pending regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013.

The sale is part of a broader divestment of ING’s insurance and money management businesses, in line with an agreement between ING and the European Commission related to financial support the Amsterdam-based bank received during the financial crisis of 2008.

ING’s news release said the joint venture company commands a roughly 3% share of China’s mutual fund market.