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Business

Japanese Broker to Pay $2 for Lehman's Europe Operations

Japan's biggest broker Nomura Holdings is paying a nominal $2 for failed Wall Street giant Lehman Brothers' operations in Europe and the Middle East.

Lehman Brothers offices in Tokyo

Bankrupt Lehman Brothers' operations are being snapped up by foreign banks

The news follows Nomura's announcement earlier this week that it was taking over Lehmann's Asia-Pacific unit as well as equities and investment banking franchises in Europe, which employs about 2,500 bankers in around ten countries, for an undisclosed sum.

Lehman's Asia-Pacific business, which employs 3,000 people in ten territories, cost Nomura $225 million (153 million euros).

The Japanese broker said earlier this week it would offer employment to all 3,000 Lehman Brothers workers in Asia while retaining "a significant proportion" of its 2,500-strong staff in the European and Middle Eastern regions.

Japanese firms gain market share

Kenichi Watanabe, Nomura's new boss said the US financial upheaval is "a once-in-a-generation opportunity" for Japanese financial institutions.

Indeed, Nomura's move reflects a growing appetite among flush Japanese firms to gain market share by buying out their American counterparts.

Earlier this week, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), Japan's biggest bank, agreed to pay about $8.4 billion for up to 20 percent of Morgan Stanley. The Japanese will have at least one seat on the board.

In August MUFG also spent about $3.5 billion on the 35 percent of UnionBanCal, a bank based in San Francisco.

Earlier this year, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) and Mizuho, the other two big banks, invested about $1 billion in Barclays and Merrill Lynch, respectively.

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