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(Reuters) — Italian insurer Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A.'s solvency ratio rose to 200% after the sale of its Swiss private banking unit, BSI, the company said as it presses ahead with measures to bolster financial strength ahead of new industry rules.
Generali said in a statement it had closed the sale of BSI to BTG Pactual for 1.248 billion Swiss francs ($1.29 billion).
Last year Europe's third-biggest insurer said it had agreed to sell BSI for around 1.5 billion francs ($1.55 billion). But on March 30, it paid $211 million to settle a tax issue regarding BSI activities in the United States.
In 2012, the insurer launched a turnaround plan to help firm up its balance sheet and boost cash generation by cutting costs and selling assets.
"The disposal of BSI completes Generali's strategy to focus on its core insurance business and improve its capital position," the group said on Tuesday.
The sale of BSI lifted the group's economic solvency ratio — a closely watched measure of financial strength, calculated using internal models based on tougher industry rules, or Solvency II, that will come into force next year — by 8 percentage points to 200% as of June 30.
The deal also boosted the Solvency I ratio by 8 percentage points to 164%, it said.
At 1456 GMT, Generali shares were up 1.4 percent, in line with the European insurance index.
(Reuters) — Italian insurer Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. expects its net profit to rise significantly this year as it reaps the rewards of a three-year-old turnaround plan, it said on Thursday after its reported its highest first-half earnings since 2007.