UPDATE 2-Nomura beats partial retreat from Europe, Americas as global vision fades – Reuters

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* Overseas business has lost $3 bln since April 2010

* European equities research team to close – sources

* 500-600 EMEA jobs to go, some also in Americas – sources

* Cuts a major blow to Nomura international ambitions

(Adds details of Nomura announcement, analyst comment)

By Emi Emoto and Thomas Wilson

TOKYO, April 12 After losing some $3 billion
overseas in nearly six years, Japan’s Nomura Holdings Inc
, is axing a brokerage unit and hundreds of jobs in
Europe and the Americas, sounding a partial retreat from its
latest drive to become a global player.

Announcing changes in its wholesale operations, Japan’s
biggest brokerage said in a statement on Tuesday it will “close
certain businesses” in its Europe, Middle East and Africa region
and “rationalise” unspecified operations in the Americas. It
didn’t say exactly which units are involved, nor how many jobs
affected, but said it would disclose full details on April 27.

People with direct knowledge of the matter said Nomura’s
European equities research team will close. In total 500-600
jobs would go in Europe, with other cuts in the Americas,
separate people familiar with the matter said, declining to be
named because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

The retreat signals the latest blow for Nomura management’s
international aspirations. The brokerage bought Lehman Brothers
equities and investment banking business in Europe and Asia in
2008, at the height of the global financial crisis, as part of a
concerted strategy to expand from its domestic stronghold and
become a major force in international finance.

An earlier U.S. push in the 1990s, selling commercial
mortgage-backed securities, suffered heavy losses after the 1998
Russian debt crisis. Nomura’s London-based cash equities
execution platform Instinet will be unaffected by the cuts,
people with knowledge of the matter said, as will its
Europe-based Asian equities sales and trading business.

With Nomura’s overseas business set to report a sixth
straight annual pretax loss for the year ended March 2016,
investors welcomed news of the cuts. Nomura spokeswoman Joey Wu
declined to comment on the job loss figures.

Nomura shares gained as much as 8.7 percent in Tokyo trading
before closing up 7.4 percent while the benchmark Nikkei average
gained 1.1 percent. The shares were languishing near
three-year lows last week.

“By restructuring some of its businesses, Nomura can stop
the bleeding and – in the long run – move towards profitability
in its international division,” said Masayuki Otani, chief
market analyst at Securities Japan, Inc. From April 2010 to
December 2015 alone, Nomura’s overseas business lost 325 billion
yen ($3.01 billion).


The move comes as investment banks globally review their
trading operations, with new regulations making it harder to
turn a profit. But equities business has provided one of the few
growth areas for investment banks in Europe, despite Nomura’s
problems in the region.

Reuters reported last month that Deutsche Bank is
hiring 100 people to boost its share trading operations.
Meanwhile Credit Suisse has said that it will continue
to expand its equities business, despite making deep cuts across
the rest of its global markets division.

Moves by other banks away from their home regions, however,
highlight the struggle to stay competitive. Britain’s Barclays
has closed its cash equities business in Asia, Asia-focused
Standard Chartered closed its equities franchise, and
France’s Societe Generale has shut its India equities
research desk.

Nomura’s announcement comes five months after the brokerage
said it will invest further in its Americas operations over the
next two to three years, seeking to strengthen mergers and
acquisitions advisory services and primary equity and debt
businesses in the region.

As of Dec. 31, Nomura had 3,433 employees in Europe and
2,501 in the Americas, company data shows. Over half of its
total 29,069 employees are based in Japan.

($1 = 108.2400 yen)

(Reporting by Emi Emoto and Thomas Wilson; Additional reporting
by Rachel Armstrong in LONDON; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

UPDATE 2-Nomura beats partial retreat from Europe, Americas as global vision fades – Reuters