Intesa's Eurizon buys BAPR's individual portfolio management business

MILAN, May 3 (Reuters) - Intesa Sanpaolo’s asset management unit Eurizon has bought the individual portfolio management business of Sicilian lender Banca Agricola Popolare di Ragusa (BAPR), the two companies said on Monday.

Through its Milan-based brokerage arm, BAPR managed assets worth 430 million euros ($518 million) as of end-December, of which around 170 million euros were individual portfolios for the bank’s customers, a joint statement said.

The deal, whose financial terms were not disclosed, is effective as of May 1.

The BAPR’s unit changing hands serves both retail and institutional customers, the companies said, adding that BAPR would continue to handle the needs of managed clients under the new distribution agreement.

Eurizon said the transaction strengthened its position in the asset management sector, in line with targets set under Intesa’s strategic plan through 2021.

Intesa’s business model is geared towards fees earned through wealth management and insurance, which has helped Italy’s biggest bank cope with the challenge that negative interest rates pose to banks’ core lending activity. ($1 = 0.8302 euros) (Reporting by Sabina Suzzi; editing by Valentina Za)