MILAN Dec 22 Italian insurer Unipol, which is merging with loss-making Fondiaria-SAI, has nearly doubled the combined entity's reserves for insurance claims to 900 million euros from 500 million euros.
In a statement overnight issued at the request of market regulator Consob, Unipol said most of the reserves - or 750 million euros - would be accounted for in the newly created UnipolSai group's 2012 pro-forma balance sheet.
Unipol, which agreed to rescue the Fondiaria-SAI group in a complex deal in January, said on Thursday it had approved the terms of a four-way merger that will create the country's second-largest insurer behind Generali.
Thursday's statement referred to an increase in the technical reserves for claims related to past financial years to 900 million euros over the 2012-2015 period, but did not specify that the bulk of the increase would weigh on the 2012 accounts.
For Fondiaria-SAI alone, the reserves were pegged at 650 million euros, a Unipol statement late on Friday said.
(Reporting By Silvia Aloisi; Editing by John Stonestreet)