Japan’s SMBC Nikko eyes more branches in Paris, Abu Dhabi

SMBC Nikko Securities will open branches in Paris and Abu Dhabi to strengthen its bond underwriting business, according to its president Yuichiro Kondo.

The company will be adding about 10 employees to its North American underwriting team by March 2023 to boost the workforce in trying to win more high-yield debt business in the US.

The move is following Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group’s strategy, which intends to boost its overseas workforce as the pandemic further hampers Japan’s growth potential.

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group is SMBC Nikko’s parent firm.

In addition to high-yield securities, SMBC Nikko plans to strengthen its business to underwrite emerging-market bonds and create securitized products in North America, Kondo said.

Kondo said the firm also wants to boost its ranking among underwriters of investment-grade bonds in North America.

SMBC Nikko’s overseas operations earned $143 million before taxes in the fiscal year that ended March, which the company aims to double by March 2023.

Kondo is also persisting with his predecessor’s plans to start private-banking services in Singapore for wealthy Asians this year.
Believing that tough times bring opportunities, Kondo is targeting to launch private-banking services in Singapore, aiming wealthy clients by September.

SMBC Nikko can afford overseas expansion due to sufficient capital required to take new risks brought by relatively restrained overseas investment last year.

However, Kondo swore that he would be “extremely conscious” in managing expenses.