Lunchtime Links: The really great news about Nomura’s redundancy programme and aspirations for the future

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It's all zen at Nomura now

As everyone one knows, Nomura is making redundancies. The Asian bank is endeavouring to save $1.2bn and is making thousands of redundancies, especially among the 4,436 people working for in Europe.

Today, however, it emerges that those redundancies are nearly done. Wholesale CFO Jonathan Lewis told International Financing Review that 80% of the job cuts will be completed by March. And Junko Nakagawa, CFO of the Nomura group, said 60% of the cuts were implemented between April and December.

Even better, Nomura says it has no plans to make cuts beyond the $1.2bn already mooted.

And even better still, Nomura made a profit in the past quarter and losses at its overseas operations narrowed from ¥52.42bn in Q2 to a mere ¥19.4bn in Q2 (of which a large proportion appears to have come Europe, which made a ¥21bn loss while the US and Asia were profitable).

Fresh from dismissing Tarun Jotwani and Jesse Bhattal following an alleged scheme to buy Italian government bonds and promoting Steve Ashley as head of global fixed income, Nomura even seems bullish about its potential in Europe. Like  the US banks, it appears to be going for market share: Jonathan Lewis told the IFR that it plans to, ‘capitalise on its relative financial health to eat into the market share of its ailing rivals in the West.’

And yet….all may not be great at Nomura yet. The Financial Times points out that without the sale of a restaurant chain acquired in 2006, Nomura would have made a loss. The investment banking division made revenues of ¥23.4bn, but had losses of ¥28bn.

Nomura is also labouring under the treat of a ratings downgrade. The FT says that a downgrade of one notch would leave it only just above junk status, which would make funding more expensive and have potentially serious implications for its trading business.


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