Dutch economy to shrink as ING profits sink
Netherlands-based bank ING announced dwindling profits amidst expectations that the Dutch economy will contract by 1.4% in 2013. ING Groep NV saw a 39% decrease in net profits for the second quarter of 2013, dropping to €788 million from €1.29 billion between April and June 2012.
"We are having a tough time in the Netherlands," ING CEO Jan Hommen is quoted as saying by the Wall Street Journal. "There are some bright spots, and we see a bit more activity in some places. But this is mainly outside of the Netherlands."
The company's analysts see signs the Dutch recession will deepen by 1.4% in 2013, but they expect the Eurozone's fifth-largest economy should see some growth in 2014. Currently, the Netherlands is dealing with high debt levels amongst its residents, and a declining property market.
At age 70, Mr. Hommen will be stepping down from the Netherlands' largest bank in terms of asset value. He will be replaced by ING Belgium chief Ralph Hamers.