ECB funding to Italian banks falls slightly in May

MILAN, June 7 Fri Jun 7, 2013 5:58am EDT

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MILAN, June 7 (Reuters) - Italian banks held a total of 259.2 billion euros ($342 billion) in funds from the European Central Bank at the end of May, slightly down from 265.7 billion euros a month earlier, the Bank of Italy said on Friday.

Funds borrowed through "longer-term refinancing operations" - mainly the cheap money Italian lenders took from the two three-year loans launched by the ECB - stood at 254.5 billion euros, from 259.4 billion euros at the end of April. ($1 = 0.7579 euros) (Reporting by Silvia Aloisi, editing by Danilo Masoni)