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Japan's Nomura second-quarter profit slumps 51%

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Nomura Securities is pictured at the company's Otemachi Head Office in Tokyo, Japan, Nov. 18, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Nomura Holdings Inc, Japan’s biggest brokerage and investment bank, on Wednesday posted a 51.2% slump in second-quarter net profit from last year, which was swelled by the stake sale in its research-focused unit.

The firm’s July-September profit came in at 67.6 billion yen ($645.65 million), down from 138.6 billion yen last year, compared with an estimate of 58.95 billion yen as compiled by Refinitiv.

Pretax income for the wholesale segment, which serves corporations and institutional investors, came in at 65.5 billion yen in the quarter, compared with a pretax income of 18.9 billion yen last year.

The retail division posted 22.8 billion yen net profit for the three months, compared with 5.3 billion yen a year ago.

The division, which has a 7,000-strong sales force, even before the coronavirus outbreak had started shifting focus to emails and phone calls from a traditional emphasis on face-to-face sales, due to the rise in popularity of online brokerages.

In the second quarter last year, Nomura posted its strongest quarterly profit in more than 17 years, lifted by the stake sale in its affiliate Nomura Research Institute with a one-off profit of 73.3 billion yen.

Nomura has been in a heavy cost-cutting mode for the past year, targeting about 140 billion yen in cuts by March 2022. More than 70% of the plan had been achieved as of end-June.

($1=104.7000 yen)

Reporting by Takashi Umekawa; Editing by Sam Holmes and Sherry Jacob-Phillips