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Sat 6 Feb 2016 12:57 AM

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Italy's Finmeccanica says Kuwait jets deal still in place

Defence firm insists contract for sale of 28 Eurofighter jets has not been cancelled

Italy's Finmeccanica says Kuwait jets deal still in place
(Getty Images)

A multi-billion-euro contract that Italian defence group Finmeccanica was expected to sign last month with Kuwait for the sale of 28 Eurofighter jets has not been cancelled, a company spokesman said on Friday.

Shares in Finmeccanica closed down 6 percent with traders citing a delay in the signing of the deal. A source close to the matter had said Finmeccanica would sign the contract on Jan. 31.

The 20-year contract is expected to be worth between 7 billion and 8 billion euros, with Finmeccanica's share accounting for roughly half and the rest held by a group of companies in the Eurofighter consortium including planemaker Airbus and Britain's BAE Systems.

Italian Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti dismissed in a statement on Friday rumours about the contract falling through.

She said Kuwait's defence minister had confirmed during a meeting in Rome on Wednesday the "strategic cooperation with Italy based on the EuroFighter project and the will to sign the contract as quickly as possible".

Sources close to the matter told Reuters this week that the parties were still working out details of the accord, such as staff training and logistics support.

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