Nomura sinks faster than Deutsche Bank


TOKYO • Nomura Holdings Inc’s latest attempt to revamp its international business is falling flat with investors, who’ve never been so downbeat on the stock relative to global peers.

Japan’s largest brokerage has dropped almost 3% in Tokyo trading yesterday since CEO Koji Nagai unveiled a sweeping overhaul plan on April 4, bringing its six-month slide to 23%. That’s the second-biggest decline among major securities firms worldwide after Societe Generale SA, outpacing even notoriously poor performers like Deutsche Bank AG. Nomura’s valuation discount versus global financial companies deepened to 58% this week, the widest gap since Bloomberg began tracking the data in 1999.

The figures under score entrenched scepticism over Nagai’s plans to revive a business buffeted by years of stop-start international expansions and an increasingly competitive battle for retail traders in Japan. While valuations this low have foreshadowed past rallies for Nomura, some investors are losing patience after watching the stock tumble more than 70% since the illfated takeover of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc’s European and Asian operations in 2008.

“The market seems to be saying, ‘If the recovery process takes longer, we do not need to rush back into this name’,” said Hideyasu Ban, senior research analyst at CLSA Ltd in Tokyo.

The stock closed 0.7% higher in Tokyo yesterday, after earlier falling as much as 1.2%.

Nomura watchers have cited several reasons for continued scepticism, including uncertainty about revenue growth and the pace of cost cuts. JPMorgan Chase & Co analyst Wataru Otsuka points to questions surrounding Nagai’s pledge to slash US$1 billion (RM4.11 billion) of costs, such as how quickly the cuts are likely to take effect and what they’ll mean for long-term profitability.

Shares may see a clear rebound only after Nomura’s managers unveil more details about their restructuring plan and convince the market they can execute, SMBC Nikko Securities analysts Shinichiro Nakamura and Takayuki Hara wrote in a report last week. — Bloomberg