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London court refuses to halt Nomura legal action against Monte Paschi

A man walks on a logo of the Monte Dei Paschi Di Siena bank in Rome September 24, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

LONDON (Reuters) - A British court on Thursday rejected an attempt by Italy's Monte dei Paschi di Siena to halt legal action by Japan's Nomura over risky derivatives trades that got the Tuscan bank into trouble.

The complex deals agreed in 2009 between the two banks are already the subject of criminal investigations in Italy, and Monte dei Paschi is seeking damages from Nomura in a Florence court.

Nomura, which denies any wrongdoing, launched its own legal action against Monte dei Paschi in the High Court in London in March, seeking a series of court declarations including that the contracts between the banks are valid.

Monte dei Paschi responded by challenging the jurisdiction of the English court over the matter, but Mr Justice Eder rejected the Italian lender's arguments.

"I reject the application by Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena and refuse to order a stay of these English proceedings," the judge said in a very brief court hearing.

A detailed written judgment giving the reasons for his ruling will be made public later on Thursday.

(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Stephen Addison)