Nomura Agrees to Buy ING Taiwan Asset Management Unit

Nomura Holdings Inc. will purchase ING Groep NV’s Taiwanese investment unit, becoming the first Japanese asset manager to operate in the market.

Nomura Asset Management Co. agreed to buy ING Securities Investment & Trust Co. with a group led by the Taiwanese firm’s former Chief Executive Officer Ashwin Mehta, Japan’s biggest brokerage said in a statement today. It didn’t disclose the price of the unit, which managed $7 billion of assets as of Oct. 31, according to Kenji Yamashita, a Nomura spokesman.

CEO Koji Nagai, 54, has pledged to make Asia a focus of Tokyo-based Nomura’s overseas business after completing a $1 billion cost-cutting program. ING, the biggest Dutch financial-services company, is divesting insurance and investment businesses as it repays a government bailout.

“The asset management business isn’t so vulnerable to market swings,” said Shinichi Ina, a Tokyo-based analyst at UBS AG. “That’s the area where brokerages would like to expand.”

Nomura and ING will complete the transaction as early as April after obtaining regulatory approval, Yamashita said by phone. The deal won’t have a material effect on ING’s results, the Amsterdam-based company said in a statement.

“We aim to enhance our presence in the local market while continuing to build out our investment management business in Asia,” Nomura Asset Management CEO Toshihiro Iwasaki said in the statement.

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