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Mitsubishi Securities Co. began operations Monday after being launched over the weekend by Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group Inc. through the merger of four affiliated brokerages.

The huge brokerage the fourth-largest securities house in terms of assets after Nomura Holdings Inc., Daiwa Securities Group Inc. and Nikko Cordial Corp. is expected to heighten competition in the industry.

“Mitsubishi Securities has become a core brokerage in MTFG, which consolidates investment banking operations,” Nobuo Nakazawa, president of Mitsubishi Securities, said at a commemoration ceremony Monday at its head office in Tokyo’s Marunouchi district. “We will aim to be a leading company in the industry with the top Mitsubishi brand.”

“I want the company to offer securities services to a wide range of customers within the group,” company President Shigemitsu Miki said.

The new brokerage, capitalized at 65.25 billion and employing a workforce of about 4,400, was formed by the merger of Kokusai Securities Co., Tokyo-Mitsubishi Securities Co., Tokyo-Mitsubishi Personal Securities Co. and Issei Securities Co.

MTFG, Mitsubishi Securities and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi said Monday they have agreed on a business and management tieup with the new brokerage in order to raise the group’s collective strength.

This includes transferring part of BTM’s investment banking operations.

Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Securities also announced the integration of two branches as part of the merger.

The branch at the west gate of Shinjuku Station will be merged into the Shinjuku branch, while the Kyoto Karasumaru branch will be combined with its Kyoto branch.

The two branches will integrate Sept. 17, bringing the company’s total branch network to 93.

Moody’s assigns A2 Moody’s Investors Service Inc. said Monday it has assigned an A2 issuer rating with a stable outlook to Mitsubishi Securities Co., which started operating the same day as the Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group Inc.’s brokerage arm.

The rating, the sixth-highest among the 21 ratings it assigns to long-term debt, is based on the strength of a “keepwell” agreement between Mitsubishi Securities and its parent, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, as well as Mitsubishi Securities’ strategic importance to the bank and Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group’s investment banking business, the U.S. rating agency said.

Moody’s said Mitsubishi Securities will face a challenging environment in the intensely competitive market.

The keepwell agreement includes provisions such as the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi maintaining a direct or indirect majority of the issued share capital of Mitsubishi Securities, and the bank keeping the brokerage’s tangible net worth at a minimum of 100 million at all times.

Mitsubishi Securities was launched Sunday by merging four securities firms affiliated with the Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group. They are Kokusai Securities Co., Tokyo-Mitsubishi Securities Co., Tokyo-Mitsubishi Personal Securities Co. and Issei Securities Co.

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