Intesa Sanpaolo CEO: Generali deal must meet bank's strategic plans

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Intesa Sanpaolo CEO: Generali deal must meet bank's strategic plans

Carlo Messina, CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP), confirmed on Friday last week the bank is considering a potential tie-up with the country largest insurer Assicurazioni Generali, but he clarified the bank would only proceed if the deal aligns with its strategic plans.

A potential deal should fit with the strategic priorities included in the ISP’s plan: growing in asset management, private banking and insurance.

In addition, any potential deal would be dependent on maintaining a dividend in 2017 for the bank’s shareholders.

Estimations for this year dividend per share would be “at least equivalent” to the current €3.4bn commitment, and “high and sustainable” in the future also in case of deal, Messina said.

Once the steps above have been approved, it will take place the design of the structure of a possible transaction subject to the constraints set in terms of capital adequacy, value creation and distribution. In assessing the Generali option, the CEO said that ISP is at the second step.

The bank, Italy’s second-largest by assets, on Friday reported net profit in the quarter of €776m compared with €13m in the same period last year.

Net fees and commissions rose 7.5% to €2bn, while operating income was up 4% to €4bn.

Even when showing improvement, he results were partially hit by a contribution to a rescue fund set up to help struggling Italian banks and other levies. The bank said quarterly earnings otherwise would have been €1.1bn.

Full-year earnings were €3.1bn, up from €2.7bn the previous year.

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