Business

Line and Nomura launch zero-commission online brokerage for Japanese stocks

Bloomberg

Line Corp. and Nomura Holdings Inc. said they have launched an online brokerage venture that will charge zero commissions for trading in Japanese shares.

Instead, Line Securities Corp. will make money from the bid and ask spreads on the trades, the venture’s Co-Chief Executive Officer Yoshikazu Yonenaga said at a news conference on Tuesday.

Line, the nation’s most popular messaging platform, is betting that backing from Nomura will help it diversify into the online brokerage business and monetize its 81 million domestic users, as well as reduce reliance on advertising. Nomura is looking to the venture to attract younger, digital-savvy clients.

The new venture will offer trading in major firms such as Toyota Motor Corp. and Mizuho Financial Group Inc., according to a statement.

Japanese retail investors are turning increasingly to online brokerages to trade stocks, eroding the market share of traditional face-to-face brokers such as Nomura and Daiwa Securities Group Inc. Nomura already has an online service with about 3.5 million customer accounts, but CEO Koji Nagai called the offering “uncool” in an interview late last year and said the firm needs to take more steps to make it attractive to younger people.

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