GLOBAL – Dutch banking group ING saw the assets under management in its real estate division increase by 37% to €74.7bn over the last year.

The "ongoing demand for property investment funds at ING Real Estate" led to strong inflows into the group's wholesale business.

This, in turn, helped increase the whole group's assets under management for institutional clients by 42.8% to €141.4bn, a spokeswoman confirmed to IPE.

The group's total in assets under management increased 16.6% to €636.7bn.

Aided by net inflows of €9.6bn into ING Investment Management (ING IM) in the first half of 2007, the Dutch bank's asset management division could reverse the decline in assets under management it suffered in the same period last year.

Assets under management for ING IM this division are now at €390.5bn from €347.6bn.

ING reported a 36.7% increase in the underlying net profit to €2.7bn for the whole group, including a €573m net gain on the sale of a part stake in ABN Amro earlier this year.

"ING posted strong results in the second quarter as the business continued to benefit from solid economic and market conditions," said Michel Tilmant, chairman of ING Group.

"Results benefited from a gain on the sale of part of ING’s stake in ABN Amro, however, this was a record quarter on an underlying basis without those proceeds."

ING also noted it completed the acquisition of Dutch pension provider AZL "expanding ING’s pension fund management activities, including board advisory and actuarial services as well as pension administration and fiduciary management".