MILAN May 17 Italian regional lenders Popolare
di Vicenza and Veneto Banca could need to raise fresh capital
privately to cover loan losses to win European Union approval
for a state bailout they have requested, six sources said on
The two banks, together with fellow bailout candidate Monte
dei Paschi di Siena, are stuck in rescue talks with
European authorities that are keen to limit the amount of
taxpayer money used to help ailing lenders in accordance with
new EU rules on banking crises.
But having failed to raise funds on the market last year,
the two Veneto-based banks may have no alternative to turning to
healthier rivals for help once again, five of the sources said,
in a fresh drag on Italy's weakened banking industry.
Both Popolare di Vicenza and the EU Commission said
negotiations were ongoing. Popolare di Vicenza, whose CEO
Fabrizio Viola is leading discussions with European authorities,
said the bank would not comment on rumours and that adding talks
focused on targets set under a restructuring plan that envisages
a merger between the two banks.
(Reporting by Stefano Bernabei, Paola Arosio, Valentina Za and
Andrea Mandala, editing by Stephen Jewkes)