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European stocks rise as ING posts earnings

The majority of European stocks rose after the Stoxx Europe 600 Index increased yesterday to its highest since June 2008.

ING jumped 3.4 per cent as first quarter net income beat projections. The company said on Wednesday (8 May) it will push ahead with its plan to spin off its European business next year, in the same way it did with its US insurance and investment unit.

The firm, which was bailed out by the Dutch state in 2008 after the financial crisis, is reducing its insurance, investment management and other assets through disposals or stock market listings.

There will also be thousands of jobs lost in order to repay the state for the aid it received and to boost its capital.

Chief executive Jan Hommen said: "With that milestone completed, we are now accelerating preparations for the base case of an initial public offerings of our European insurance company, with the aim of being ready to go to the market in 2014."

By Claire Archer