Europe, equities bear brunt of Nomura's $1 billion cost cuts

Thu Sep 6, 2012 7:15am EDT
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By Nathan Layne

TOKYO (Reuters) - Nomura Holdings Inc, Japan's biggest brokerage, said it will make cuts in its equities and investment banking businesses as it looks to chop $1 billion in costs, mainly from its ailing overseas operations, cooling its global ambitions.

Unveiling details of a $1 billion restructuring it outlined last week, Nomura said the combined European, Middle East and Africa region would account for 45 percent of the total cost savings target, with the Americas accounting for 21 percent, Asia ex-Japan 18 percent and Japan 16 percent.

The plan is Nomura's second major restructuring in less than a year and is the first move by new Chief Executive Koji Nagai to retrench from an expansion built on the 2008 acquisition of the Asian and European operations of Lehman Brothers.

The previous pruning, launched last year, also sought to cut $1 billion in costs from the wholesale division, which handles equities, fixed-income and investment banking, and eliminated about 1,000 jobs across the group.

Nomura, announcing the cuts at a briefing in Tokyo on Thursday, said it would streamline its investment banking operations to focus on advising clients on deals in certain sectors such as retail and financial institutions, and migrate most of its equities execution outside of Japan to its Instinet electronic brokerage unit.

It did not say how many jobs will be cut in the latest plan.

"It's critical that we boost profitability without relying on a cyclical recovery in the markets," said Chief Operating Officer Atsushi Yoshikawa. "We are not dropping our global ambitions."

Combining Instinet, a so-called agency broker, and Nomura International would put an end to years of having them compete against each other for business.   Continued...

A logo of Nomura Holdings, Japan's largest brokerage, is pictured in Tokyo April 22, 2008. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao