1203 GMT - ING Groep is among the most mentioned companies across news items over the past six hours, according to Factiva data, after the Dutch bank said that it plans to buy back up to 2.5 billion euros ($2.68 billion) of shares alongside a market-beating first quarter net profit. ING said that the share buyback was to bring down its common equity Tier 1 ratio toward its target of around 12.5% by 2025. For the first quarter of 2024, it reported a CET1 ratio--a key measure of balance-sheet strength--of 14.8%, in line with expectations. Net profit for the quarter was EUR1.58 billion ahead of expectations of a EUR1.45 billion result. The bank reiterated that it expects fee income to rise by 5% to 10% this year, with cost growth of around 3% and a return on equity of 12%. Shares are currently up 6.1% at EUR15.77 and are 16.55% higher for the year to date. Dow Jones & Co. owns Factiva. (ian.walker@wsj.com.)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-02-24 0821ET