(LONDON) Dutch bank ING has appointed Morgan Stanley for a possible sale of its real estate management arm as the bank reinvents itself after a state bailout, sources familiar with the matter said.
The hiring of the US investment bank follows months of speculation on the future of the unit - which has US$92 billion in assets under management - while ING is making heavy cuts to its business at the behest of the European Union.
A spokesman for ING in Amsterdam declined to comment. Morgan Stanley also declined to comment.
The bank, which received 10 billion euros (S$16.9 billion) of state aid in 2008, said in February that it would keep Real Estate Investment Management (REIM) within the bank, scrapping an earlier planned transfer into ING Investment Management.
Property market sources suggest the appointment of banker William Connelly to the helm of REIM in March following the sudden retirement of George Jautze suggested a trade sale or break-up of the unit was a serious ambition. -- Reuters
Source: Business Times, 10 Jun 2010