AMSTERDAM — Dutch financial services company ING Group NV considers an initial public offering of its insurance business as the most interesting option for now, chief executive Jan Hommen said Wednesday.

"In the current situation, we see the public market as the most interesting option. But I can't assure that we will also go for this option," Hommen told reporters on a conference call. He added that a possible flotation of the insurance business will depend on future market circumstances.

In the coming years, ING will nearly halve its balance sheet as it seeks to divest its insurance business and spin off its investment arms and Internet bank operation in the U.S., ING Direct. The revamp was mandated by the European Union over competition concerns after ING was bailed out by the Dutch government.

CEO Hommen said that ING will focus this year on preparing the split of the company. "Some countries have significant entanglements and we have to put management and staff together," he said.

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