Nomura stays in black over its first half

JAPANESE bank Nomura yesterday said it had remained in the black for a second successive quarter, boosted by strong trading volumes and robust sales of investment trusts.<br /><br />Though the bank&rsquo;s investment banking division posted a pre-tax loss of 9.7bn yen (&pound;64.3m), echoing weak performances from rival divisions across the Wall Street banking giants over the past few weeks, Nomura managed to generate an overall pre-tax profit of 27.3bn yen over the three months to September. <br /><br />The bank, which last year bought the Asian, European and Middle Eastern operations of failed rival Lehman Brothers, made a pre-tax profit of 58.7bn yen over the first half of the year, compared to a loss of 153.6bn yen in the same period in 2008.<br /><br />&ldquo;After one year of combined operations, the acquisitions have been a resounding success,&rdquo; said president and chief executive Kenichi Watanabe. &ldquo;The results are another solid step in our drive to become a truly global investment bank.&rdquo;<br /><br />Nomura&rsquo;s asset management division booked a pre-tax profit of 4.5bn yen over the second quarter as demand surged among retail investors keen to achieve higher returns from foreign shares.<br /><br />Its merchant bank arm returned to a 1.3bn yen profit for the first time in a year following the sale of its stake in Kawamura Electric and a gain from the increase in valuation of a bio-pharma venture investment.<br /><br />Nomura said its core tier one capital ratio, the key measure of a bank&rsquo;s financial strength, stood at 13.3 per cent, rising to 17.3 per cent when taking into account increased shareholder capital from a global share offering in October.