Finmeccanica falls 5 percent as India puts helicopter payment on hold

MILAN Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:17am EST

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MILAN (Reuters) - Shares in Finmeccanica (SIFI.MI) fell 5 percent after a source at the Indian Defence ministry said it had suspended payment to the Italian defense group for a $750 million helicopter deal.

The deal was put on hold until the completion of a federal police investigation into bribery allegations, a defense ministry source in India told Reuters.

Finmeccanica shares were suspended from trade after falling more than the exchange's allowed limit.

Italian police arrested Finmeccanica's chief executive Giuseppe Orsi on Tuesday for alleged bribes paid to secure the sale of 12 AgustaWestland executive helicopters to the Indian Air Force, when he was head of the Finmeccanica helicopter unit. Orsi's lawyer denied the allegations.

(Reporting by Francesca Landini)

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