ING has reached agreement to sell its Malaysian insurance activities to the AIA Group for about 1.3 billion euros (1.7 billion U.S. dollars), the Dutch bank and insurer announced on Thursday. The deal includes the life insurance business, market-leading employee benefits business and the 60-percent stake in ING Public Takaful Ehsan Berhad. The sale will result in a net transaction gain of 780 million euros (1,007 million dollars). The sale is part of ING\'s earlier-announced plans to sell its Asian insurance and asset management activities. The process to abandon the remaining Asian units is still going on. \"Today\'s announcement is the first major step in the divestment of our Asian insurance and investment management businesses and shows that ING continues to make steady progress in the restructuring of our company,\" said CEO of ING Group Jan Hommen. \"AIA is an established player in Asia, and the combination of our strong insurance operations with their longstanding track record in Malaysia will create a market leader well positioned to benefit from the growth opportunities available in the country,\" Hommen said. Subject to regulatory approvals in Malaysia and the Netherlands, the transaction is expected to be closed in the first quarter of 2013.