Intesa Sanpaolo, Italy’s biggest bank by market value, has announced a possible bid for Generali, Italy’s largest insurer. Intesa Sanpaolo said in a statement that the bank “is interested in industrial growth in the areas of asset management, private banking and insurance in synergy with its banking networks, including through possible international partnerships. These opportunities, including possible industrial combinations with Assicurazioni Generali, are currently being examined by the bank’s management.” Generali shares were 2.5% up this week while Intesa shares fell 3%. A merger of Intesa and Generali would form an internationally significant financial institution with a market value of about €60bn. Generali aquired voting rights worth 3.01% in Intesa Sanpaolo in an attempt to block a hostile bid under Italian takeover law. Generali is due to hold a board meeting in Milan on Wednesday, while Intesa is due to hold a board meeting in Milan on Friday.