ROME, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Italy is in talks with European authorities over a possible 5-billion euro ($5.3 billion) state bailout of two Veneto-based regional lenders, two sources close to the matter said on Tuesday.
One of the sources said the discussions were at an embryonic stage and the final, combined capital shortfall of the two banks had not been decided yet.
The sources said the scheme being discussed would be a precautionary recapitalisation of the two banks, which allows eurozone states to inject taxpayer money into lenders without violating state aid rules.
The Rome government has already won approval from the European Commission to use the mechanism for an 8.8 billion euro bailout of Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the world’s oldest bank.
The two Veneto banks are owned by privately backed bank bailout fund Atlante, which rescued them last year after their attempt to raise money on the market failed.
The European Commission, the European Central Bank, Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca declined to comment.
$1 = 0.9461 euros Reporting by Stefano Bernabei and Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Silvia Aloisi