Hutchison Whampoa is seeking a ruling to prevent its Italian partner recalling a ?373.2 million (about HK$3.2 billion) loan to their third-generation (3G) mobile phone venture. Hutchison has asked an arbitrator to rule that CIRtel International, a unit of Italian financier Carlo de Benedetti's Compagnie Industriali Riunite, breached a shareholder agreement when it asked to be repaid the loan to H3G Italia. The case is the second brought by Hutchison against a European partner. Last month, the conglomerate sued Royal KPN, the Netherlands' largest phone company, over ?150 million (HK$1.8 billion) that KPN refused to lend to their British 3G venture. Analysts said Hutchison's legal proceedings in its two main 3G markets were bad for its image and efforts to market 3G. 'If CIRtel is successful in demanding the repayment of the shareholder loan, Hutchison may need to fill the gap.' said ING analyst Cusson Leung. Hutchison expects the international court of arbitration under the International Chamber of Commerce, which held a hearing last month, to rule after September. The conglomerate made the disclosure in a sale document for its one billion euro bond dated July 2. Hutchison, which paid 3.3 billion euros for the Italian licence in November 2000, disagreed with CIRtel on how to finance H3G Italia soon after they set up the venture. In March last year, a Milan court refused a request by CIRtel to freeze assets in H3G Italia, Italian newspapers reported. Hutchison is seeking a ruling 'that CIRtel is required to irrevocably commit to provide the disputed amount of funding to the joint venture', the company said in its bond sale documents A Hutchison spokeswoman declined to comment, stating that it had an ongoing lawsuit with CIRtel, which also refused comment. Hutchison owns an 88.2 per cent stake in H3G Italia, which started offering a high-speed mobile data service in March. On Monday, Goldman Sachs said Hutchison might trigger further price cuts in Britain and Italy to reach its one million subscriber target.