(Adds details of British company sale)
TOKYO, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Japan’s largest investment bank Nomura Holdings Inc posted a 12.8 percent rise in quarterly profit, helped by the recent rally in Japanese shares, cost-cutting, and a large one-off investment gain.
Nomura reported net profit of 20.11 billion yen ($220.83 million) for the October-December period, compared with profit of 17.82 billion yen in the same quarter a year earlier.
The result fell short of market expectations of 32.8 billion yen profit, based on the average of estimates by four analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
The bank benefited from an upswing in Japanese stocks, which rallied 17 percent during the quarter amid expectations of bolder steps to boost the economy under new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose Liberal Democratic Party won parliamentary elections last month.
Nomura’s results were also bolstered by a one-off gain of 16 billion yen from selling British real estate company Annington Homes as it scales back its private equity investments.
The bank has cutting costs under Chief Executive Koji Nagai, who took the helm last year in the wake of an insider trading scandal. In August, the company announced plans to chop an additional $1 billion in costs, with a focus on trimming its ailing European operations.
Nomura’s Chief Financial Officer Junko Nakagawa told reporters on Thursday the company had achieved half of that target by December. ($1 = 91.0650 Japanese yen) (Reporting by Nathan Layne, Emi Emoto and Junko Fujita; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)