(Recasts, adds COO comments and details)
By Nathan Layne
TOKYO May 22 Japan's largest brokerage firm
Nomura Holdings Inc said on Wednesday it was seeking
partners to expand its retail and asset management operations in
Southeast Asia and was in talks with several financial
institutions in the region.
Chief Operating Officer Atsushi Yoshikawa did not name any
specific companies but said Nomura would consider taking equity
stakes as part of any alliance.
"The best situation would be a 100 percent stake but given
various regulations that is probably not realistic," Yoshikawa
told a briefing for analysts and media. "We could end up taking
a minority stake or not take any stake at all."
Yoshikawa cited Thai brokerage Capital Nomura Securities PCL
, in which Nomura holds a minority stake, as an example
of a successful partnership.
Last month, Nomura reported its highest quarterly profit in
seven years thanks to Japan's booming stock market, which has
surged 50 percent this year on the back of the central bank's
aggressive monetary easing and a sharp slide in the yen.
The brokerage on Wednesday increased its target for Japanese
retail assets to 100 trillion yen by March 2016 after clearing
its previous target of 90 trillion yen last month.
Nomura is about 80 percent through a $1 billion cost-cutting
programme announced by CEO Koji Nagai in September. The cuts are
focused on its equities and investment banking operations, with
nearly half of the planned reductions in Europe.
Yoshikawa said Nomura was not planning to aggressively
expand overseas but could hire additional sales staff to
increase the distribution of its fixed income products and
bolster its equities operations in Asia.
Nomura was also looking to add investment bankers to expand
its coverage of the healthcare and technology sectors in the
United States, Yoshikawa said.
($1 = 102.5450 Japanese yen)
(Editing by Shinichi Saoshiro and Miral Fahmy)