Securities houses tipped to report record profits

Fiscal 1999 results for Japan’s three largest securities houses are likely to include the biggest profits since the asset-inflated speculative bubble burst in fiscal 1991, company officials said Thursday.

The strong showings for fiscal 1999, which ended in March, are largely attributable to steep increases in revenue from brokerage commissions on stocks following active trading since spring 1999.

Nomura Securities Co. expects to report a pretax profit of roughly 350 billion yen on a consolidated basis. It posted a pretax loss of 324.4 billion yen the previous year.

Nomura is considering increasing its annual dividend from the 10 yen a year it has paid for the previous three years.

Daiwa Securities Group Inc., which incurred a consolidated pretax loss of 87.9 billion yen in fiscal 1998, is estimated to have earned a pretax profit of more than 200 billion yen in fiscal 1999.

The company intends to raise its annual dividend to between 10 yen and 12 yen from 5 yen the preceding year.

Nikko Securities Co. expects to register a consolidated pretax profit of 180 billion yen on its fiscal 1999 results, up from a loss of 36.6 billion yen in fiscal 1998. It may pay a dividend of more than 10 yen, up from 3 yen.

Nikko intends to set its dividend between 12 yen and 13 yen if group net profit reaches between 80 billion yen and 120 billion yen.

Due to the continuation of record-low interest rates, daily turnover on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange topped 1 trillion yen for 32 consecutive trading days through March 17 this year.

The trend matched the First Section’s longest streak, which was set in 1989. The key Nikkei Stock Average of 225 major issues surged to an all-time high of 38,915.97 on Dec. 29 that year.