* Assets previously seized from Nomura unfrozen -source
* Judge did not see fraud, deemed seizure not urgent -source
* Nomura declines to comment
By Silvia Ognibene
SIENA, Italy, April 27 An Italian judge has
rejected an order to seize around 1.8 billion euros ($2.3
billion) of assets from Nomura as part of a probe into
suspected fraud involving troubled lender Monte dei Paschi di
Siena, legal sources said on Saturday.
Assets worth 140 million euros that were already seized from
the Japanese bank have been released under the judge's ruling,
which was made on Friday, the judicial source said.
A spokeswoman for Nomura in Italy declined to comment.
Prosecutors in Siena investigating lossmaking derivatives
trades made under Monte Paschi's previous management ordered the
seizure of around 1.8 bln euros of assets from the Japanese bank
on April 16, but the court has rejected their request to have
the order endorsed.
The trades under scrutiny include a structured deal with
Nomura known as 'Alexandria', as well as a similar trade with
Deutsche Bank called 'Santorini' and a smaller deal
called 'Nota Italia' with JP Morgan.
Judge Ugo Bellini ruled against the seizure because he did
not see evidence of fraud and deemed there was no urgency in
freezing the assets given that the contract dates back to 2009,
an investigative source said.
It was not immediately clear whether under the judge's
ruling Monte Paschi has to resume collateral payments on the
Alexandria deal, which had been frozen by the prosecutors order.
On Friday Nomura's chief financial officer, Shigesuke
Kashiwagi, said in a note that his bank intended to engage with
Italian prosecutors to find a solution.
Monte Paschi was forced earlier this year to book losses of
nearly 1 billion euros after disclosing details of the complex
The bank had already been weakened by the euro zone crisis
and has been forced to accept help from the state in the form of
4 billion euros of state bonds to meet tough capital
requirements set by European regulators.
The investigation is also politically sensitive in Italy as
the Tuscan bank had strong links with local centre-left party