ROME (AP) _ Italy's largest bank in terms of assets, San Paolo IMI, said late Friday it will try to reach an agreement with Italy's biggest insurance company, Assicurazioni Generali, over the latter's unsolicited bid for the country's No. 2 insurer, INA.

Generali had announced the takeover attempt last month, just a week after San Paolo and INA had said they had agreed to work rapidly at seeing if a merger were feasible.

San Paolo's decision to work out some sort of a deal was announced after a late night board meeting in Turin, the bank's headquarters.

Either of the mergers would create Italy's largest banking-insurance group.

Based on the first few details, the Italian news agency reported that the hoped-for accord envisions San Paolo and the Trieste-based Generali linked through shares.