GLOBAL - ING Real Estate's total portfolio has risen by almost 28% to €64bn, parent ING Group said.

"ING Real Estate's total portfolio, including real estate finance, increased 27.7% to €64bn at the end of September 2005 from €50.1bn at the end of 2004," ING said in its nine-month earnings report.

The boost was "driven mainly by strong inflows and acquisitions at the investment management business".

The real estate investment management portfolio increased by a record €11.8bn to €42.7bn, it added.

The rise was the result of a €6.4bn inflow of new funds and the acquisitions of Gables Residential Trust in the US and a portfolio from the UK's Abbey National.

ING replaced part of the Abbey National portfolio in a new listed fund investing €700m in the fourth quarter.

The real estate finance portfolio grew to €18.9bn from €17.1bn at the end of 2004 - "driven by a number of large transactions in the US, Australia and Spain".

The real estate development portfolio increased by €0.3bn to €2.4bn.

ING added that its ING Real Estate Development unit has been pre-selected for participation in the Zuidas-Dok Company in Amsterdam.

And ING Real Estate is in a consortium that have been awarded a contract for a €800m redevelopment project in Hamburg.

I N G R e a l Estate's pre-tax profit rose 12.2% to €248m.