Instead, ING said it had taken a negative revaluation of 751 million euros on investments in subprime, Alt-A and CDO through shareholders' equity, but it was not directly booked as a loss.
Chief Executive Michel Tilmant said "solid risk management" helped to shield ING from the worst of the credit and liquidity crisis that has forced banks on both sides of the Atlantic to take large impairments on investments once thought to be less risky.
"ING's exposure to the riskiest assets is limited, and the RMBS investments we selected have a high level of structural credit protection to absorb significant losses as the U.S. housing crisis deepens," Tilmant said in a statement.
High Credit Protection
ING said that the business environment remained "challenging" and that it had to lower valuations on its real estate and private equity investments as well.
Hele said the 751 million euros in revaluations was "only important if these assets become impaired."
"The market values have held up quite well in these assets… and that's because we have very high credit protection, credit enhancement, in the structures of the triple-A tranches that we bought," Hele told "Squawk Box Europe."
In contrast to the troubles with investments in ING's banking arm, insurance performed well, posting a quarterly underlying profit of 1.82 billion euros, up 37 percent from a year earlier.
That was due in part to the stake sales, which offset lower valuations of real estate and private equity investments, and a 10 percent rise in premium income helped as well.
Banking profit was mostly flat in the quarter from a year earlier, at 1.15 billion euros.
For 2007 ING said net profit rose 20 percent to 9.24 billion euros, or 4.32 euros per share. Analysts had expected, on average, a full year profit of 8.71 billion euros, or 3.96 euros per share.
-- Reuters contributed to this report