Nomura cuts exposure to Italian government bonds

NOMURA Holdings, Japan’s largest investment bank, has cut its exposure to Italian government bonds and other Italian securities to $467m (£301.6m) from $2.82bn in less than two months to reduce its risk in the region’s debt crisis.

Nomura said the move was part of a broader reduction of its holdings in Europe. The bank said in a statement it lowered its total exposure to Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain to $884m as of 24 November from $3.55bn as of 30 September.

The bulk of Nomura’s holdings were in Italian government debt.

Nomura spokeswoman Joey Wu said the reduction reflected both the maturing of securities and a sale of others in reaction to instability in financial markets. The bank would continue to act as a market-maker in Italian government debt and had no plans to pull out, she said.

The debt crisis in Europe has increased pressure on Nomura to put the brakes on its global expansion, which has included its purchase of the Asian and European businesses of failed Wall Street bank Lehman Brothers in 2008.

Earlier this month, Nomura posted its first quarterly loss in two and a half years.