ING announced today, it has entered into an agreement with Grupo Financiero Bital for a 19.2% stake in Banco Bital, one of the leading retail banks in Mexico. This announcement follows a memorandum of understanding signed in March this year.
The USD 200 million investment will enable ING to further enhance its bancassurance strategy in Mexico. Closing of the transaction is, amongst others, subject to regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year.
In 1998, ING entered into a bancassurance joint venture with Bital to enable ING to distribute its insurance products through BitalÂ's branches. INGÂ's 49% ownership in that joint venture is unaltered by todayÂ's announcement.
The co-operation between ING and Bital dates back to 1997, when both companies established Afore Bital, one of the largest pension funds in Mexico. In October 2000, ING acquired BitalÂ's interests in Afore Bital.