Italy-based Generali is contemplating to dispose its US life reinsurance business, thus paving a way to exit from US underwriting market.

Italian largest insurer by annual premiums has appointed Citigroup to counsel it on the proposed sell of Generali USA Life Reinsurance unit, which would fetch $1bn for the company, according to Bloomberg.

The sale is in the early stage and will take some time to reach on final stages, as sales documents are being arranged and could be sent to potential buyers, the news portal reported citing the sources familiar with the matter.

According to a report issued by Munich Re, Generali’s US life reinsurance operation has increased in the US, behind only the Reinsurance Group of America.

The underwriter owns nearly $78bn in assumed business in the ordinary recurring US reinsurance market in 2010, with an increase of 11% from the last fiscal.

Generali’s plan to exit from the US clearly indicates a trend in which European financial groups are offloading their non-core assets in an endeavor to avert the eurozone crisis.