Intesa drops interest in Generali, citing ‘no opportunities’

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Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo has dropped its interest in Assicurazioni Generali, the country’s biggest insurance company.

In a statement on Friday evening, Intesa said: “In the light of the analyses on the insurance group carried out on the basis of information currently available to the public, the management sees no opportunities that fulfill the criteria…against which it examines options for the Group’s internal and external growth on a regular basis.

Intesa’s interest in Generali became public in January, and the bank had been canvassing shareholders in both groups about the deal. It had pledged to make a decision by the end of the month.

The bank confirmed that it would distribute €10bn to shareholders, as planned, between 2014 and 2017. It also pledged further growth in wealth management, work to increase its non-life insurance business, initiatives to expand its digital banking operation and efforts to reduce the number of non-performing loans. It said that by 2019, NPLs would be back to the level they were in 2011.

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