Dutch financial giant ING is studying a potential listing in Asia, with Hong Kong an option, according to chief financial officer Cees Maas. ING offers insurance, banking, and asset-management services worldwide. Cities in which it has its shares listed include Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt and New York. Mr Maas is on the group's first Asian roadshow, meeting professional investors in Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan to attract interest in ING shares. 'One of the purposes of this trip is to see if it makes sense for the ING group to list our shares in the stock markets in the Far East,' Mr Maas said in Hong Kong yesterday. Most of ING's present shareholders were from Europe and the United States, with only a few from Asia, he said. If investors in Asia said they would prefer the group to list on regional exchanges to make it easier to trade its shares, ING would do so, Mr Maas said. However, Asian investors could still trade the company's shares in overseas exchanges. He said 23 per cent of shareholders were from Britain, even though the group was not listed on the London Stock Exchange. Mr Maas said the group would like to expand its business in Asia so it contributed more than 10 per cent of its global profit, from 7 per cent now. 'Economic growth in Asia will be much faster than many European countries and the US market,' he said. The company has operations in India, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Taiwan. Great potential was seen for the China market with the mainland's World Trade Organisation entry, Mr Maas said. ING already has licences allowing it to sell individual life-insurance policies in Shanghai and Beijing and would like to enter the pension business when regulations allow. It would also like to form a fund-management company with a Chinese firm, he said. On the banking side, Mr Maas said ING would focus on corporate and investment banking services in China, but had no interest in expanding into retail banking.