ING has a masterplan in Korea and it involves the potentially enormous growth in the bancassurance industry.
ING has agreed that it will up its stake in Korea's premier bank, Kookmin to make sure that this strategy plays out. It will inject up to $250 million next August when bancassurance becomes possible - provided the new regulations as yet unclear allow Kookmin to exclusively sell ING's insurance products.
Should this come to pass, it could either buy the stake from Goldman Sachs which owns 5.3%, the government 9.6% or from the market. It will take ING's stake in Kookmin to 6%.
ING is keen to sell through Kookmin's 1300 branches and has...