Spain's Mapfre, Cattolica to insure Italian cars

MADRID, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Spain's biggest insurance company Mapfre said on Sunday it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Italy's Cattolica Assicurazioni to develop a joint motor insurance business in Italy.

The companies will set up a new subsidiary, Mapfre Cattolica Auto, and Mapfre will buy a 50 percent stake for 473 million euros ($620 million).

Mapfre said the new company would rank as the fifth-largest motor insurer in Italy.