ING Group has received regulatory approval to start life insurance operations in Ukraine. ING expects to launch its activities in the first half of 2009.

According to ING, this move will allow the group to enter the fast growing life insurance market in a country with over 46 million inhabitants and a rapidly growing middle class. ING considers Ukraine to be an attractive emerging market, with strong growth indicators and a huge potential.

The head office of the new life insurance company will be located in Kiev and will be headed by Veronika Korolev as its CEO.

Jacques Vaucleroy, member of the executive board of ING Group, responsible for insurance Europe said: Starting this life insurance greenfield is in line with ING’s sharpened strategic focus on banking, investments, life insurance and retirement services. I am confident that by utilizing our experience in setting up successful operations in other countries in Central and Eastern Europe we will be able to make a swift and efficient start.