ING sent information on the unit to potential bidders that might also include Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Bank of New York Mellon and Schroders, said the people, who declined to be identified as the process is confidential.
Other companies that have shown interest in the asset management unit are BlackRock and State Street, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
ING is asking for non-binding offers around late May, one person said.
Spokesmen for ING and the potential bidders declined to comment or weren’t immediately available.
ING’s Asian asset management business oversaw $54.7 billion as of Dec. 31, according to a company presentation dated Feb. 9. About 60% of the unit’s assets under management are on behalf of ING’s insurance business, one of the people said.
The unit is worth about $655 million, according to an estimate by Hans Pluijgers, an analyst at Credit Agricole Cheuvreux. The company is under European Union orders to sell its insurance and investment management businesses before the end of 2013, after receiving state aid in 2008 and 2009.
ING might sell the asset management unit in Asia separately or together with its insurance operations in the region. Selling the divisions together might be easier for ING because the asset management unit oversees money on behalf of the insurance business, said Mr. Pluijgers.