Wires

BPER shareholder Unipol would back merger but nothing at present

MILAN, Nov 8 (Reuters) - As a shareholder in Italy's BPER Banca, Unipol would back a potential tie-up involving the second-lender, the head of the insurance group said on Friday.

"As shareholders, we cannot but back scenarios that would bring the bank inside bigger, stronger and potentially better-performing structures than at present," Unipol Carlo Cimbri said during an analyst call after quarterly results.

Unipol and its insurance unit UnipolSai hold a combined stake equivalent to almost 20% of BPER's capital.

Asked about a possible merger between BPER and UBI Banca , Cimbri said that he was "not aware of any current assessment by BPER" in this regard.

(Reporting by Andrea Mandalà; editing by Valentina Za)