* Prosecutors froze 140 mln euros of assets - source
* Move linked to investigation into trades at Monte dei
* Bank says no impact on settlement of Europe trades
* Nomura seeking talks with prosecutors to resolve situation
(Recasts with asset seizure in Italy)
By Nathan Layne and Silvia Ognibene
TOKYO/SIENA, April 26 Nomura Holdings Inc
said on Friday Italian prosecutors had frozen its
assets in Italy in connection with a high-profile investigation
over a derivatives contract with local lender Banca Monte Dei
Paschi di Siena.
Nomura Chief Financial Officer Shigesuke Kashiwagi said his
bank had been informed on April 23 that Nomura Bank
International's (NBI) assets in Italy had been frozen.
Kashiwagi said Nomura believed the move was unwarranted and
said the action would have no impact on the settlement of the
Japanese bank's trades across Europe and the assets were small.
Prosecutors investigating risky derivatives trades that have
endangered Monte Paschi's survival ordered on April 16 the
seizure of around 1.8 billion euros of assets from Nomura in
connection to the probe.
The trades include a structured deal known as 'Alexandria',
done with Nomura, a similar trade called 'Santorini', with
Deutsche Bank and a smaller deal called 'Nota
Italia', done with JP Morgan.
The frozen assets include a "small amount of cash and
receivables", Kashiwagi said at an earnings briefing.
"These assets will remain the property of NBI, but pursuant
to the prosecutor's order, may not be withdrawn," the CFO said,
adding the bank would attempt to talk with prosecutors to
resolve the situation.
Assets of Nomura's Milan branch were not frozen as this
account is used for funding day-to-day operations, he added.
Nomura did not disclose the amount of the frozen assets. A
source close to the case told Reuters Italian prosecutors had
frozen around 140 million euros ($182 million) in Italy.
The investigation into Monte Paschi is politically sensitive
as the Tuscan bank had strong links with local centre-left party
Apart from the Italian assets, prosecutors have been unable
to get their hands on any Nomura assets after the Bundesbank
turned down a request to block Nomura assets in Germany.
According to Italian law, the order to freeze Nomura's
assets needs to be confirmed by an Italian judge, at the latest
on Saturday, or it will become void.
Monte dei Paschi, Italy's third-largest bank, was forced to
book losses of nearly 1 billion euros after disclosing details
of the complex derivatives deal.
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.
Monte dei Paschi Fabrizio Viola said in an interview
published on Monday the bank could hold a planned 1 billion euro
capital increase next year and did not rule out more asset sales
to reinforce its balance sheet and avoid nationalisation.
"We think that conditions will be right to hold the capital
increase in 2014," Viola said in an interview, adding the
offering would be aimed primarily at institutional investors.
Monte dei Paschi will hold a shareholder meeting on Monday.
($1 = 0.7689 euros)
($1 = 99.4900 Japanese yen)
(Writing by Lisa Jucca; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)