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Big banks win dismissal in U.S. of bond rigging lawsuit

FILE PHOTO: Workers are seen in offices at Barclays and HSBC bank offices in the Canary Wharf financial district in London, Britain, November 17, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. judge has dismissed an antitrust lawsuit by investors that accused nine big banks of rigging the roughly $9 trillion government agency bond market from 2005 to 2015.

In a decision made public on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos in Manhattan said the investors failed to show they were injured by conducting any specific transactions in U.S. dollar-denominated supranational, sub-sovereign and agency bonds that were tainted by the alleged collusion.

Investors led by the Iron Workers Pension Plan of Western Pennsylvania and the Sheet Metal Workers Pension Plan of Northern California said the banks used chatrooms and other means to share pricing data and coordinate trading to boost profit, infecting “each and every” transaction.

The defendants included Barclays Plc BARC.L, BNP Paribas SA BNPP.PA, Citigroup Inc C.N, Credit Agricole SA CAGR.PA, Credit Suisse Group AG CSGN.S, HSBC Holdings Plc HSBA.L, Nomura Holdings Inc 8604.T, Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO and Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO.

Dan Brockett, a lawyer for the investors, said his clients plan to amend their complaint.

He also said Ramos' decision, which is dated Aug. 24, does not affect Deutsche Bank AG's DBKGn.DE and Bank of America Corp's BAC.N respective $48.5 million and $17 million settlements in the case in August 2017.

Ramos preliminarily approved those settlements in March.

The federal court in Manhattan is home to a wide array of private litigation accusing banks of conspiring to rig various financial markets, interest rate benchmarks and commodities.

The case is In re: SSA Bonds Antitrust Litigation, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 16-03711.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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