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Nomura ups USstaff count amid cash call

JAPANESE bank Nomura is boosting its presence in the US by doubling its headcount, as it prepares to raise 433bn yen (&pound;3bn) in its second cash call of the year.<br /><br />The fast-growing investment bank, which bought the European and Asian units of failed US bank Lehman Brothers last year, is now turning its attention to the US.<br /><br />It is planning to almost double its headcount there to 1,200 by the end of March.<br /><br />Nomura has already been on a hiring spree in the US, recruiting around 300 employees so far.<br /><br />The bank, which is trying to capitalise on the financial crisis and the weakness of some of its competitors, also announced details of its fundraising yesterday.<br /><br />It said it would sell 800m shares at 568 yen each, a 4.1 per cent discount to its closing share price of 592 yen on the Tokyo Stock Exchange yesterday.<br /><br />This is the second time this year that the bank has gone cap in hand to the markets, and follows a 270bn yen fundraising in March.<br /><br />Bank chief executive officer Kenichi Watanabe said it will sell around 400m shares to overseas investors and 366m in Japan. A further 34m will be used to satisfy any excess demand.<br /><br />Citigroup Global Markets Japan is to underwrite the share issue, alongside Japanese firms Mizuho Securities and Mitsubishi UFJ Securities, and US investment bank JPMorgan Chase.