Nagoya-based Tokai Maruman Securities Co. has sealed a merger deal with medium-size Naigai Securities Co. in an effort to build up its retail presence in the Kansai, Chubu and Kanto regions, the two companies announced Monday.

In the deal, Tokai Maruman, with 1,033 employees and total assets worth 172 billion yen as of March 1998, will purchase Naigai’s 11.59 million shares owned by the now-defunct Yamaichi Securities group, or about 38 percent of Naigai’s total shares, company officials said.

Tokai Maruman will retain its name until both companies agree on a new name. The new firm is likely to be launched in April, the officials said.

The merger is expected to give the new firm the eighth largest position in the securities industry in terms of net assets and the ninth in terms of self-owned capital, they said.

At a news conference Monday, Masao Okumura, president of Tokai Maruman Securities, said he is confident the merger will help secure an edge over bigger competitors. “We aren’t seeking nationwide operations,” he said. “We’re aiming at limited areas. That way, we can raise the quality of our products, win customers’ confidence and strongly compete with foreign and large securities firms.”

Meanwhile, Naigai President Masaki Hideno said the merger was the only option for the company to survive the ongoing “Big Bang” financial deregulations. “After Yamaichi’s bankruptcy last year, finding a new, stable shareholder became the most urgent issue for us,” he said. “In addition, we thought Naigai would be doomed without forming an alliance.”

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