Dutch shareholder group VEB calls on ING to say if interested in Commerzbank
AMSTERDAM, May 15 (Reuters) - The organisation that defends
shareholder interests in the Netherlands on Wednesday called on
ING Groep to clarify whether it is interested in
acquiring German rival Commerzbank.
Reuters reported on May 14 that Italy's UniCredit had hired
advisers to examine the possibility of a takeover of
Commerzbank, while ING had held informal talks with the German
lender. ING declined comment.
The VEB said in a letter to the Dutch banking group that
"ING cannot delay" disclosure of its intent.
"While ING should not respond to every rumour in the market,
in the eyes of the VEB it is in the interest of a honest
determination of the market price for ING shares that it give
clarity," the association wrote.
It said that ING's share price had declined in recent days,
likely because of the reports, and noted that UniCredit had made
a statement on Tuesday at the request of Italian regulators.
UniCredit said it had not signed any banking mandate related
to any potential rumoured market operation.
ING spokesman Raymond Vermeulen said on Wednesday evening
that similar questions were raised at its annual meeting earlier
"We have nothing to add to the response our board gave
there," he said.
ING's share price has fallen around 16 percent since late
The bank's chief executive, Ralph Hamers, told shareholders
on April 24 that it would consider a cross-border acquisition in
select circumstances, including if consolidation were occurring
in one of the markets it operates in.
Germany is ING's second largest market after the
ING is obliged to inform shareholders under Dutch disclosure
laws of any concrete step in a takeover process, the association
(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)
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