The Netherlands ING Group has sold 36 million shares, about 1.8 percent of the total outstanding, at approximately 18.50 Euros per share, raising around $666 million in additional capital. (The dollar and the Euro are currently of equal value)
The company was reacting to the fall in global equity values, which has seen many insurance and financial companies write down the value of their portfolios. While ING with 14 billion euros in its insurance division’s capital base is in no danger, it decided that strengthening its solvency was nonetheless necessary.
The principle effect of the additional capital will be to reduce ING’s gearing ratio by reducing its total debt load and increasing its equity. The company already reported an 8 percent rise in third quarter earnings, and most analysts expect it to meet or exceed its targets this year.
Putting that many shares on the market, however, resulted in a fall in the share price, which had been above 19 Euros.
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