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Monte Paschi Loses Bid to Delay Nomura Derivatives Suit in U.K.

A London judge rejected a bid by Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA to delay London court proceedings in a dispute with Nomura Holdings Inc. (8604) over a derivatives deal.

The agreements that governed the deals included a pact to hear any disputes in England, according to the decision today from U.K. High Court Judge Henry Eder, who blocked Monte Paschi’s application to postpone the proceedings until the case could be heard in Italy.

“The court should, so far as possible, give effect to the parties’ bargain and be very slow indeed to exercise a discretion in a manner the effect of which would be to destroy such bargain,” Judge Eder said today. “The mandate agreement provides that the English courts are the most appropriate.”

Nomura filed a claim in London against Monte Paschi on March 1 on the same day the Italian bank, the world’s oldest, brought separate suits in Florence seeking damages over two derivative contracts dubbed Alexandria and Santorini, arranged respectively by Nomura and Deutsche Bank AG. Nomura is seeking a declaration from the British court that its derivatives contracts with Monte Paschi are valid.

The Italian lender is seeking 700 million euros ($966 million) in damages from Nomura and Paschi’s former managers, and 500 million euros from Deutsche Bank and former managers.

A spokeswoman for Monte Paschi didn’t have an immediate comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Moshinsky in London at bmoshinsky@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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