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MILAN, Feb 16 (Reuters) - The likelihood of state intervention in regional lenders Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca is high, the CEO of Popolare di Vicenza told Il Sole 24 Ore on Thursday.
The two Veneto-based regional lenders, rescued by bailout fund Atlante last year after an attempt to raise money on the market failed, are planning to merge.
"The size of the (state) intervention is not known yet and will depend on talks with the ECB and talks between the Treasury and Atlante," Fabrizio Viola said in an interview in the paper.
Viola, who is also chairman of the strategic committee of Veneto Banca, said the merger of the two banks and a capital increase had to be done before the end of September.
He also said asset sales by the banks were expected to raise 400 million euros. (Reporting by Stephen Jewkes)