Saturday, April 17, 2021

Nomura Follows Saudi Retreat With Plan to Exit Bahrain, Qatar

(Bloomberg) — Nomura Holdings Inc. is closing its offices in Qatar and Bahrain as part of a push to move some of its regional and client coverage to bigger financial centers, according to people familiar with the matter.

Japan’s biggest brokerage, which also exited Saudi Arabia last month, has been shrinking its investment banking presence in the Middle East. Nomura will continue to serve clients in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar from Dubai or locations like London, where it has a larger presence, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

Nomura Cuts Dubai Banking Jobs in Mideast Coverage Shift

Nomura began overhauling its global wholesale business more than a year ago in a bid to save $1 billion in costs and sustain profitability abroad. Chief Executive Officer Kentaro Okuda has persisted with those efforts by cutting dozens of investment banking jobs in the U.S., Bloomberg reported in July. Nomura also eliminated some investment banking positions in Dubai last year.

The restoration of ties between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt after a three-year dispute may be a factor for financial firms looking to reshape their presence in the region. Gulf states are opening their airspace to Qatar and resuming trade with the gas-rich state after this month’s diplomatic breakthrough.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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