Generali Real Estate is unlikely to sell assets from its core and trophy Milan portfolio, according to its head of Italy.

The institutional investor last year sold only a few of its non-core assets in the northern financial city, which account for more than 40% of its total direct Italian real estate portfolio.

Alberto Agazzi, Generali Real Estate’s managing director for Italy, told IP Real Estate that the firm would this year look to improve the quality of its existing assets.

“Last year, we were able to rotate part of our non-core portfolio; we found investors willing to buy,” he said.

“We will not be a huge seller. We will focus on improving the quality of the portfolio further and keep our core and trophy assets.”

Agazzi said the firm would be selective in its acquisitions and sales at a time of growing international interest in Italian commercial real estate, with Milan the main focus.

“There are more counterparts than before if we are looking for a transaction,” he said. “But we are not forced to compete in the market, we have already invested over the last three years. We don’t need to act.”

In the Netherlands, the insurer is currently selling a portfolio of real estate assets as it shakes up its Dutch holdings.

Generali will re-invest in the Dutch property market once the sale of a number of office, retail and residential assets is complete. A spokesman last month said the firm was looking to “rationalise its presence” in the Netherlands and would re-invest sale proceeds in strategic assets in major cities.

Separate media reports suggest the portfolio could be worth as much as €275m.

A focus on the city of Milan will be published in the May/June edition of IP Real Estate magazine.