TOKYO - Japanese investment bank Nomura has announced a Yen709.4 billion ($7.3 billion) annual loss for 2008. The bank says the losses are a result of the financial turmoil and the cost of buying the European, Middle East and Asian operations of Lehman Brothers. Speaking about the scale of the losses - a ten-fold increase on the previous fiscal year - chief financial officer Masafumi Nakada said: "The financial confusion has spread to the real economy since November and the speed was faster than the market had anticipated."
Nomura said it lost Yen150 billion on financial market trading and booked another Yen230 billion loss in one-off costs, including the acquisition and integration of its Lehman Brothers purchases. The firm has cut 2,100 jobs since October 2008, including 1,000 in London, while not ruling out further cuts. Nomura's announcement was paralleled by news that its Japanese competitors would post large annual losses. Mitsubishi UFJ, Sumitomo Mitsui and Mizuho Financial lost Yen257 billion, Yen390 billion and Yen580 billion respectively.
There are also growing signs of the financial crisis's affect on Japan's economy. Japanese government figures confirmed the downturn has thrown the real economy into its quickest decline since records began. Output has now fallen for four quarters in a row, declining by 4% in the first quarter of 2009 and by 15.2% in the past 12 months.