Nomura scandal won’t hurt ‘Big Bang,’ new JSDA chief says

The recent scandal surrounding Nomura Securities Co. will not affect current efforts to implement the “Big Bang” of financial system reforms, the acting head of the Japan Securities Dealers Associations said Mar. 19.

Tsugio Yukihira, who assumed the acting chairmanship of the JSDA after Nomura Chairman Masashi Suzuki resigned over the scandal last week, called the whole affair involving the nation’s top brokerage and payoffs to a corporate racketeer “regrettable.” Speaking at his first news conference as head of the industry group, Yukihira, also chairman of Yamaichi Securities Co., said the association would also consider taking punitive action against Nomura if investigations prove any wrongdoing. “But the incident will not, and indeed must not, affect the reform process. It will be handed as a separate issue,” he said.

He added that he was confident that his own firm was not involved in similar transactions with racketeers as some media reports say, or he would not have assumed the post of acting chairman. He will hold the post until the end of June, after which he is expected to become chairman.

The JSDA would swiftly consider new self-regulatory steps to prevent such scandals from recurring after the results of the authorities’ probes are released, he added. The association agreed Mar. 19 to revise the current system of initial public offerings to incorporate the book-building method, under which underwriters compile investor demand to set the offering price. The current method calls for potential investors to place bids for the shares to be offers.