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ING profits fall 96 percent on weak economy


ING Groep NV, the largest Dutch financial-services company, said second-quarter profits fell 96 percent, more than analysts had estimated, as it set aside money for risky loans and reduced the value of its real-estate holdings. The company’s U.S. life insurance and annuity operations are based in Des Moines.

ING stock tumbled as much as 15 percent in Amsterdam trading after the company reported net income of 71 million euros ($100 million), below the 362 million-euro median estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News by e-mail.

“Market impacts and the weaker economic environment continue to strain ING’s results,” CEO Jan Hommen said in a statement on the company’s Web site this morning. “Credit quality worsened, leading to a rise in risk costs, while lower property prices in many regions triggered negative revaluations on real estate.”

In January, the company eliminated 72 positions in Des Moines as part of 750 job cuts across its U.S. operations.

Hommen, who took over in January, plans to raise as much as 8 billion euros selling assets to boost capital. The company has cut 8,219 jobs, more than previously planned, and expects to reduce costs by 1.3 billion euros this year, it said today. ING had about 4.98 billion euros of losses over the previous three quarters.

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