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Rating Action:

MOODY'S UPGRADES LONG-TERM CREDIT RATING OF NOMURA SECURITIES TO Baa1, WITH POSITIVE RATING OUTLOOK

12 Jul 2000
MOODY'S UPGRADES LONG-TERM CREDIT RATING OF NOMURA SECURITIES TO Baa1, WITH POSITIVE RATING OUTLOOK

Tokyo, July 12, 2000 -- Moody's Investors Service upgraded the long-term credit rating of Nomura Securities Co., Ltd. and its subsidiaries. The short-term debt rating of Nomura Securities and their subsidiaries at Prime-2 is not affected by this review. This concludes the review initiated on April 21, 2000. The rating outlook for Nomura Securities is positive.

These rating actions reflect several developments: 1) Nomura Securities' improved financial fundamentals as a result of strong recovery of net profit for FYE 3/2000, 2) its management's achievements in implementing large scale restructuring of its previously dispersed business lines, particularly its non-core activities such as international and emerging market activities, as well as domestic real estate related financing, and 3) improved risk management practices. The rating action also reflects Moody's positive re-assessment of Nomura's leading domestic franchise that has the potential to generate strong revenue flows from many product lines including equity, fixed income and mutual funds, under positive operating environment. Moody's recognises that, as a result of the reduced scale of overall risk profile of the firm, and on-going progress in earnings diversification initiatives such as asset management and retail asset gathering, the potential for Nomura's earnings fluctuation has been reduced.

At the same time, in Moody's view, the degree of the diversity of operating franchise is still believed to be low relative to internationally active investment banking firms due to its weakness in high-margin advisory expertise, small contribution from asset management fees, and relatively unchanged operating cost structure for domestic business. Despite the efforts for further diversification and stability, it is still challenged in advisory related and global investment banking, given the severe competition from global bulge bracket firms. Therefore, Moody's view that structural reliance of Nomura's bottom line on equity brokerage commissions remain unchanged, still leaving relatively larger room for possible fluctuation of future earnings performance attributable to market volume downturns, faster-than expected acceleration of brokerage commission competition dictated from traditional and net-based brokers, and possible downward pressure on its large principal finance business portfolio outside Japan and residual portfolio of domestic real estate loans.

However, Moody's also recognises that this remaining uncertainty is mitigated by the movement, albeit gradual, of retail depository funds to non-depository financial products. Moreover, Nomura's dominance in domestic coverage, and retail client asset gathering momentum, and its well segmented customer and product strategies help position the firm to deal with domestic threats and opportunities. The positive rating outlook also reflects Moody's expectation that Nomura's aggressive implementation of currently employed domestic strategies should contribute to the build-up of further diversified franchise with higher resiliency to trading volume downturns going forward.

The following ratings were upgraded:

Nomura Securities Co., Ltd.-- the senior debt rating to Baa1 from Baa2.

Nomura Bank International Plc.-- the senior debt rating to Baa2 from Baa3.

Nomura Europe Finance NV-the senior debt rating to Baa1 from Baa2. (guaranteed by Nomura Securities Co., Ltd.,)

Nomura Global Funding Plc. - the senior debt rating to Baa1 from Baa2.

The following ratings were not affected by the review:

Nomura Securities Co., Ltd -- Prime-2 for commercial paper,

Nomura Bank International Plc.-- Prime-2 for short-term debt, E+ bank financial strength rating.

Nomura Europe Finance NV--Prime-2 for short-term obligations (guaranteed by Nomura Securities Co., Ltd.,)

Nomura Holding America, Inc.-- Prime-2 for commercial paper (guaranteed by Nomura Securities Co., Ltd.)

Nomura International Plc. -- Prime-2 for commercial paper (guaranteed by Nomura Securities Co., Ltd),

Nomura Global Funding Plc. -- Prime-2 for short-term obligations (guaranteed by Nomura Securities Co., Ltd.,).

Tokyo
Mutsuo Suzuki
VP - Sr Credit Officer
Rating Group
Moody's Japan K.K.

New York
Ryan O'Connell
Senior Vice President
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service

JOURNALISTS: (03) 3593-0734
SUBSCRIBERS: (03) 3593-0922

No Related Data.
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