Bad-debt charges surge; group steps up cost cutting plans

(Source: Market Watch)

Shares in ING fell as much as 15% Wednesday after the Dutch banking and insurance firm said its second-quarter profit had been almost wiped out by falling property prices and rising bad-debt charges.

The group said its bottom line dropped 96% to 71 million euros ($100.2 million) from 1.92 billion euros a year earlier. Excluding charges related to its cost-cutting program and other one-off items, underlying profit fell 88% to 229 million euros.

Analysts had been expecting a profit of around 388 million euros, according to a Dow Jones Newswires poll.

Read Simon Kennedy’s full article “ING profit slumps 96% on real-estate losses” in Market Watch (August 12, 2009).

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