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Toyota Motor Corp. plans to enter the securities brokerage business by selling investment trusts, bonds and other financial instruments at affiliated dealerships possibly within this year, company officials said Friday.

The new business will begin at Nagoya Toyopet Co., a major Toyota group dealer in Aichi Prefecture, the officials said.

Toyota will be the first Japanese automaker to move into the securities brokerage business since the market was deregulated in April.

The Toyota dealerships will provide information to customers on asset management and make recommendations on investment trusts, bonds and other instruments, the officials said. Orders will be processed through Toyota Financial Services Securities Corp.

Nagoya Toyopet will shortly register with the Finance Ministry for the brokerage business. About nine of its sales representatives have obtained licenses as securities agents.

The move is apparently targeting wealthy customers, particularly prospective buyers of luxury Lexus cars. Currently sold mostly in North America, the Lexus will be released in Japan next summer.

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