Earnings

Nomura suffers biggest loss in a decade, hit by big write-off

Key Points
  • The surprise second straight quarterly loss came as the bank has been overhauling its businesses at home and overseas to boost profitability.
  • Global stock markets slumped in December, weighed down by growing worries about the health of the world economy amid an escalating U.S.-China trade spat.
A pedestrian walks past illuminated signage for Nomura Securities Co., a unit of Nomura Holdings Inc in Tokyo, Japan.
Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Nomura Holdings, Japan's biggest brokerage and investment bank, suffered its biggest quarterly loss in nearly 10 years, after it booked a big write-off in its wholesale business.

The surprise second straight quarterly loss came as the bank has been overhauling its businesses at home and overseas to boost profitability.

Nomura said in a statement its October-December net loss came in at 95.3 billion yen ($876.64 million), down from a profit of 88 billion yen a year earlier and compared with the 30.9 billion yen average profit estimate of two analysts compiled by Reuters.

The loss was the worst since the January-March quarter of 2009 when the bank recorded a 215.8 billion yen loss, reflecting costs to integrate operations of the Asian and European businesses of failed Wall Street bank Lehman Brothers, which it bought in 2008.

Nomura said it booked an impairment charge of 81 billion yen during the period. It said the impairment is related to its U.S. securities trading execution company Instinet and Lehman Brothers.

Its retail business also suffered a steep fall in profit, as individual investors sat on the sidelines amid turmoil in the market.

Global stock markets slumped in December, weighed down by growing worries about the health of the world economy amid an escalating U.S.-China trade spat.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei average suffered its first annual loss in seven years in 2018 after logging a nearly three-decade high in October.