Company News

Nomura: can meet global capital requirements

TOKYO, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Nomura Holdings Inc 8604.T, Japan's largest brokerage, said it has raised enough capital to survive expected global regulatory changes in the next few years after two share offerings this year.

Nomura is also expanding its U.S. operations further with the money raised from its most recent equity sale, Nomura Chief Operating Officer Takumi Shibata told reporters.

Nomura strengthened its capital by selling more than $7 billion of shares this year, boosting its tier 1 capital ratio to 17 percent or more, Shibata said.

The Japanese brokerage has raised capital to prepare well in advance for an expected global regulatory push for banks to have higher capital buffers to prevent another global financial crisis.

The first change will take place in 2011 when the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision will require commercial banks to have stronger capital to respond to general market risk.

“With 17 percent tier one capital it is difficult for us to imagine that we will not be able to clear hurdles that will be introduced in 2011,” he said, adding that preparation was everything.

“When I was a student, there were summer holidays and there was always homework, I was one of the students who didn’t finish the homework until the last day of the holiday. That was a lesson I learned the hard way.”

Nomura, which is expanding globally with the purchase of Lehman Brothers LEHMQ.PK's European and Asian operations, will keep expanding its U.S. operations, Shibata told reporters.

Nomura increased its U.S. headcount to about 1,300 from 720 it had in April. That number will reach around 1,600 by March next year, Shibata continued.

“And the number will keep growing,” he said, adding that he plans to further expand Nomura’s investment banking business after boosting its equities and fixed income teams.

Nomura, capitalising on the retreat of some Wall Street firms, hired senior bankers from Barclays BARC.L, Citigroup Inc C.N and Bank of America to cement its fixed income and equities businesses. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)