Intesa Sanpaolo (ISNPY)  stock rose Friday after it appeared to backpedal on previous suggestions it is seeking a takeover of insurer Generali (ARZGY) .

The lender responded to speculation that an offer for Italy's largest insurer is imminent by saying that its activities to date, in relation to Generali, amount to little more than a case study of a possible combination.

Generali shares rocketed in January after the Italian press reported that Intesa has partnered with German insurer Allianz (AZSEY)  to launch a takeover bid for the asset.

Intesa later confirmed that it is considering a bid but its plans may have been complicated by resistance from Generali.