Domenica, 23 Settembre 2018
ROME

Former Nomura boss probed, 1.8 billion seized over MPS

English
© ANSA

(By Paul Virgo)
Rome, April 16 - Italian prosecutors seized 1.8
billion euros of assets held by Nomura on Tuesday and said they
had put the Japanese bank's former chief executive in Europe,
the Middle East and Africa under investigation in relation to a
probe into a financial scandal at Monte dei Paschi di Siena
(MPS).
Nomura was involved in one of a series of suspect
derivative and structured-finance deals that left a hole of
around 720 million euros in the balance sheet of Italy's
third-biggest lender.
Prosecutors said Sadeq Sayeed, the former head of Nomura
International plc, was being probed along with another manager
from the Japanese investment bank, Raffaele Ricci.
The prosecutors said the Nomura seizure regarded 88 million
euros of hidden commissions received by Nomura and 1.7 billion
euros of funds deposited with Nomura by MPS by way of collateral
for a loan.
They stressed that the individuals were under investigation
but the Japanese bank as an institution was not.
Judicial sources said that the validity of the so-called
Alexandria derivatives contract MPS has with Nomura has been
suspended.
Around 14 million euros belonging to former MPS chairman
Giuseppe Mussari, former general manager Antonio Vigni and
former finance chief Gianluca Baldassarri were seized on Tuesday
too.
Sayeed, Ricci, Mussari, Vigni and Baldassarri are being
probed for crimes including usury, aggravated fraud, obstructing
banking watchdogs and issuing false statements.
Mussari last year resigned from MPS and stepped down from
his subsequent post as chairman of the banking association ABI
after the scandal exploded in January.
Baldassarri is under house arrest.
Police and prosecutors investigating the MPS scandal were
at the offices of the Bank of Italy for "activities linked to
the investigation" on Tuesday.
Bank of Italy officials are not implicated in the probe but
are cooperating with investigators.
"The presence of finance police in the headquarters is
connected to the collaboration provided for some time to the
judicial authorities in relation to investigations into
obstructing regulatory authorities, in which the Bank of Italy
is the injured party," read a Bank of Italy statement.
There are also suspicions senior MPS managers were involved
in reports of bribes and corruption regarding the
nine-billion-euro acquisition of rival bank Antonveneta in 2008.
David Rossi, MPS's communications chief, committed suicide
last month by throwing himself out of a window at the bank's
headquarters in Tuscany. He was not being probed.
MPS, which is the world's oldest bank still doing business,
revealed losses of more than three billion euros last year.
Before the derivatives scandal broke, the Italian
government had approved a 3.9-billion-euro bailout loan to the
troubled bank, which may be converted into equity if the bank
cannot make its payments to the State.

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