Chief Financial Correspondent, Italy, Milan
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Jan 23, 2013

Italy’s Monti defends his reform achievements in Davos

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – Outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti defended his reform efforts in front of an audience of the world’s financial elite on Wednesday and accused past governments of plunging Italy into a spiral of unemployment and stagnation.

Monti, who was given a rare opportunity to address the annual World Economic Forum, also got an open endorsement from the influential forum’s founder, Klaus Schwab, for his decision to lead a centrist list at a general election in February.

Jan 14, 2013

New Generali boss targets 4 billion euros from asset sales

LONDON (Reuters) – New Generali (GASI.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) boss Mario Greco said the sale of non-core assets would raise some 4 billion euros ($5.3 billion) as part of a turnaround strategy that promises to boost profit by focusing on “value over volume”.

Europe’s third-biggest insurer has already put on the blocks Swiss private bank BSI and its U.S. reinsurance business, which analysts say could be worth around 2.5 billion euros together, as it concentrates on its core business.

Jan 14, 2013

New Generali boss promises “revolution” at Italian insurer

LONDON, Jan 14 (Reuters) – Generali boss Mario
Greco has vowed to boost operating results by a quarter via a
long-awaited turnaround strategy unveiled in London on Monday.

Under the plan, the Italy-based insurer aims to increase the
weight of its non-life segment, hike investments in eastern
Europe and Asia and deliver significant cost cuts.

Jan 14, 2013

Generali promises higher returns with new strategy

MILAN, Jan 14 (Reuters) – Generali’s (GASI.MI: Quote, Profile, Research) boss Mario
Greco vowed to deliver operating results of above 5 billion
euros ($6.7 billion) and to improve solvency margins beyond 160
percent under a new strategy that will hike investments in
high-growth markets and rein in costs.

As he unveiled its closely-watched new strategy for Europe’s
third-largest insurer, Greco also said the Italian insurer would
increase the weight of its non-life segment, to bring it to
around a half of its total insurance operating profits by 2015.

Jan 10, 2013

Can Generali’s Greco wake up Italy’s sleeping giant?

MILAN (Reuters) – Generali’s (GASI.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) boss Mario Greco next week unveils an eagerly-awaited road map to put Europe’s third-biggest insurer on a path to profits via asset sales and a greater focus on its core business.

Analysts expect Greco to spell out where the company sees growth and how it plans to improve its solvency ratio.

Jan 8, 2013

Italy’s Generali to buy out Czech joint venture

MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s largest insurer Generali (GASI.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Tuesday it will buy out the rest of an eastern European joint venture it holds with Czech group PPF for 2.5 billion euros ($3.3 billion), increasing its exposure to the fast-growing region.

It is the first major deal struck by Generali’s new chief executive, Mario Greco, who was appointed in August to improve profitability at Europe’s third-largest insurer behind Allianz (ALVG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Axa (AXAF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), and review its portfolio of assets.

Jan 8, 2013

Generali agrees to buy out Czech JV for 2.5 bln euros

MILAN, Jan 8 (Reuters) – Italy’s largest insurer Generali
expanded its footprint in fast-growing eastern Europe
after agreeing to buy out the 49 percent of an insurance joint
venture it holds with Czech group PPF.

The 2.5 billion euros ($3.27 billion) deal represents the
first major transaction engineered by new Generali Chief
Executive Mario Greco, who was appointed in August to boost
profitability at Europe’s third-largest insurer and review
Generali’s entire portfolio of assets.

Jan 7, 2013

Generali may buy out PPF joint venture – sources

MILAN, Jan 7 (Reuters) – The board of Generali,
Italy’s biggest insurer, is to discuss buying the 49 percent of
a joint venture with Czech group PPF it does not already own,
three sources with knowledge of the situation said.

The proposal to buy the stake, which analysts value at
around 2.5 billion euros ($3.3 billion), is the first big
boardroom test for chief executive Mario Greco, set to present
the result of a review Generali’s asset portfolio on Jan. 14.

Dec 13, 2012

A year under Monti: from hope to doubt

MILAN, Dec 13 (Reuters) – When Mario Monti took the helm a
year ago, with Italy teetering on the edge of a Greek-style
debt crisis, he was welcomed as a saviour who could finally put
the country back on track.

Disgusted with the scandals, corruption and cronyism that
had flourished under Silvio Berlusconi, workers and businessmen
at first meekly accepted the technocrat premier’s higher taxes
and harsh pension reform, confident he would guide them out of
the euro zone debt storm into calmer waters.

Dec 10, 2012

Market jitters as Monti’s exit clouds Italy reform path

MILAN (Reuters) – Italian bond yields shot higher, domestic shares tumbled and the euro slipped on Monday on fears that Italy’s economic reforms will stall after Prime Minister Mario Monti said he would quit office early.

The unelected technocrat, an economist respected by international investors, said on Saturday he would resign once the 2013 budget is approved. He had lost the support of Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right PDL party, the largest in parliament.

    • About Lisa

      "I have been a correspondent for 13 years, reporting on banks, financial regulation and EU politics from London, Brussels, Zurich and Milan. I have also written about a variety of business sectors, general news, the arts and sport. As Chief Financial Correspondent for Italy, I keep a close eye on top Italian business stories, particularly Fiat and banking."
      Joined Reuters:
      English, Italian, French, German, Dutch, Spanish
      2010 Reuters Star Performer Award
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