ING eyes insurance spin-off

Dutch banking and insurance group ING will speed up preparations for a stock market listing of its European insurance business next year, the firm said yesterday as it posted first-quarter net profit of €1.8bn (£1.5bn), up from €728m a year ago and broadly in line with forecasts. ING, bailed out by the Dutch government in 2008, also reported a modest recovery in lending to companies after a contraction last year.