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Nomura Securities Co. said Monday its group pretax profit for the October-December quarter plunged 87.2 percent from a year earlier to 14.2 billion yen, hit by lower revenues amid a weaker domestic stock market.

Japan’s largest brokerage house said its group operating revenues fell 15.2 percent to 264.3 billion yen, while group net profit came to 36.6 billion yen.

Against a backdrop of sluggish share prices, commission revenues dropped about 30 percent to 94.6 billion yen.

Late last month, Japan’s two other major brokerages, Daiwa Securities Group Inc. and Nikko Securities Co., also reported poor group earnings for October-December.

Daiwa posted a pretax loss of 8.6 billion yen, while Nikko marked a hefty 95.4 percent drop in pretax profit to 2.8 billion yen.

But for the nine months to Dec. 31, Nomura posted a group net profit of 154.58 billion yen, up 18.5 percent from a year earlier.

Nomura attributed the increased earnings in April-December to gains on its trading activity and an extraordinary profit from the sale of securities holdings and carry-back of some loan-loss reserves.

These more than offset lower brokerage fees.

Its group pretax profit from April to December rose 16 percent from a year earlier to 233.45 billion yen.

Group operating revenues increased 19.5 percent to 924.23 billion yen.

Earnings per share stood at 78.74 yen, up from 66.43 yen a year earlier.

On an unconsolidated basis, Nomura chalked up a net profit of 117.26 billion yen in the nine months to Dec. 31, down 9 percent from a year earlier. It recorded a pretax profit of 190.41 billion yen, down 1.7 percent, on operating revenues of 430.73 billion yen, up 0.4 percent.

Sakura to sell broker

Sakura Bank said Monday it has agreed to sell its wholly owned brokerage unit to Daiwa Securities SB Capital Markets Co., a wholesale brokerage unit of Daiwa Securities Group Inc., on April 1.

Sakura Bank said it also plans to transfer part of its wholesale securities business, including merger and acquisition-related operations, to Daiwa Securities SB Capital Markets.

Daiwa Securities SB Capital Markets will change its name to Daiwa Securities SMBC Co. after it purchases Sakura Securities Co., it said.

Capitalized at 205.6 billion yen, Daiwa Securities SB Capital Markets is 60 percent owned by Daiwa Securities Group and 40 percent by Sumitomo Bank.

In November, Daiwa Securities Group, Sakura Bank, Sumitomo Bank, Daiwa Securities SB Capital Market and Sakura Securities agreed in principle to the integration of Daiwa Securities SB Capital Markets and Sakura Securities.

Sakura Bank and Sumitomo Bank have agreed to merge April 1.

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