Nomura halts coverage of dozens of firms as top analysts leave

The brokerage suspended its coverage of 29 companies, including Nintendo and Rakuten Group. PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) - Nomura Holdings has suspended coverage of dozens of companies following the departure of two highly ranked stock analysts in Tokyo, at a time when Japan's biggest brokerage is seeking to reinforce research as part of its broader growth plans.

Ms Junko Yamamura, who covered the leisure and amusement sector, and Mr Yoshitaka Nagao, who covered the broadcasting and advertising industry, are no longer with the company, according to sources familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified as the details are private. Both were ranked in the top two for their industries in an annual survey of institutional investors conducted earlier this year by Nikkei Veritas. A Nomura spokesman declined to comment.

The brokerage suspended its coverage of 29 companies, including Nintendo and Rakuten Group, according to June reports obtained by Bloomberg. It also halted coverage of a number of real estate investment trusts covered by analyst Tomohiro Araki.

Nomura's chief executive Kentaro Okuda reorganised and consolidated the brokerage's research capabilities during his first year in charge. The firm's research is "amongst our most important management resources", and its content will play an "important role in realising future growth", he said in the company's 2020 annual report.

Nomura covers more than 1,200 stocks in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific with about 200 research specialists stationed in 10 regions around the world, according to its website. The brokerage said it was the first company in Japan to establish a research department in 1906.

The firm last year created a division called the Frontier Research Department focusing on emerging industry and unlisted companies, part of its effort to do more business in private markets.

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