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ING in restructuring talks with E.C., Dutch state


AMSTERDAM (Reuters)—Dutch bank and insurer ING Groep N.V., forced to sell assets in return for receiving state aid during the financial crisis, said on Tuesday it was in talks with the Dutch state and the European Commission over an amended restructuring plan.

The discussions are not expected to affect ING's plan to divest its insurance business, but they could mean it no longer has to sell its Dutch banking unit, known as WestlandUtrecht, according to analysts, particularly given the current tough financial environment.

"Good progress has been made, but more time is needed to come to a final agreement acceptable to all parties," ING said in a statement.

"We are still firmly behind the plan to divest all the insurance operations," a spokesman said, but he declined to give more details.

ING and the European Commission disagree over the total amount and extent of the state aid ING actually received and have fought a prolonged legal battle.