ROME, April 17 Italy's highest court ordered the release of 301.8 million euros ($395.6 million) in frozen payments to builder Impregilo SpA IPGI.MI, the company said on Friday, in a partial freeing-up of 750 million euros sequestered in a probe.
The high court has sent the case back to a Naples court to decide on the remaining 450 million euros in payments, Impregilo said in a statement. Some investors had hoped for the complete release of the funds.
Shares in Impregilo, Italy's biggest builder by market value, dropped on news of the decision and were down 6.4 percent at 2.1825 euros by 1256 GMT, falling from a six-month high of 2.395 euros.
"No sooner had the decision come out when the stock started to fall," a trader said. The DJ Stoxx European construction and building materials index .SXMP was 2.1 percent firmer.
Prosecutors froze the payments in 2007 as part of an investigation into waste management contracts near Naples in southern Italy.
Prosecutors had sought to block a Naples court decision in August 2008 that would have released the funds.
((email@example.com; +39 02 6612 9666; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org@reuters.net)) Keywords: IMPREGILO/COURT
(C) Reuters 2009. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution ofReuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expresslyprohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuterssphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group ofcompanies around the world.nLH179186
Our top photos from the last 24 hours.