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BNP Paribas says sued by Italy's Astaldi over contract guarantee

ROME (Reuters) - BNP Paribas on Wednesday denied having sued Astaldi, adding that it was the Italian builder that had launched legal action against the French lender on March 13.

The bank said it and other lenders were sued by Astaldi over the payment of an international guarantee issued by BNP Paribas at the request of the Italian group in favour of National Bank of Canada. The legal move was "totally groundless", BNP added.

Earlier on Wednesday, Italian daily Il Messaggero reported that BNP had sued Astaldi over an alleged breach of a contract in Canada, complicating its rescue plan. Astaldi denied a lawsuit had been filed by BNP.

Rome-based Astaldi, hit by delays to plans to sell another bridge in Turkey, was granted court protection from creditors in October last year to allow it to continue business while restructuring its debt.

(Reporting by Stefano Bernabei, writing by Agnieszka Flak)