Japan’s Nomura Says Buying Stake in Lehman a Possibility

The President of Nomura Holdings Inc. (NMR), Japan’s biggest and most well-known stock brokerage firm — in an interview with Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun (credited in ’02 with having the largest newspaper circulation in the world) said that the company may use close to $2 billion for investment in U.S. and European financial institutions. The newspaper, notes WSJ – added that Lehman Brothers (LEH), the fourth-largest US investment bank, would be “one of several candidates” for such investments.

While it is too early to speculate in terms of how much, if any, of a stake in Lehman the brokerage firm is seeking to obtain, Nomura was quoted as saying that it plans to make a decision on whether to invest or not in the New York-based bank, after studying Lehman’s June-August results due out Sept. 15 and analyzing subsequent share price movements of the U.S. firm.

Speculation has been rampant lately that Lehman Brothers, considered to be the most vulnerable to the credit crisis, has been trying to reach a deal with Korea Development Bank for a capital injection of as much as $6 billion. Reports have also alluded to Lehman working on alternatives to KDB, including China’s CITIC Securities and sovereign wealth funds from Abu Dhabi and Qatar.

Meanwhile, earlier this week Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group denied a report that the bank would seek a controlling stake in the U.S. based company, which according to several analysts could post losses of up to $4 billion when it reports third-quarter results.

Nomura Holdings despite a net loss in two consecutive fiscal quarters seems relatively well capitalized. The co. has more than $200 bln in cash and a total debt of $157 bln. The firm has said it might use some of its capital to pursue acquisitions.

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About Ron Haruni 1068 Articles
Ron Haruni is the Co-Founder & Editor in Chief of Wall Street Pit.

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