Mizuho Expands Equity Hiring Plans in Bet Rout Will Ease

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  • Bank seeks to hire as many as 30 people in next five months
  • Osade wants equities to spur trading, investment banking

Mizuho Financial Group Inc. is expanding its hiring plans for Japan equities to as many as 30 people from 15 as the bank shrugs off global market turmoil to boost its trading and investment banking businesses.

Japan’s third-largest bank by market value seeks to hire five or six people for equity sales, trading, research and derivatives in Tokyo, New York or Hong Kong each month until January, said Yohei Osade, global head of Asian equities at Mizuho Securities Co. It recruited six people for the division this week, he said in an interview in Tokyo on Thursday.

The hiring plans mark a deeper expansion than Osade sought as recently as a month ago, underscoring his confidence in Japanese stocks after they tumbled as part of the worldwide rout. He expects the nation’s equity market to rebound as companies improve governance, wages rise and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe adds growth policies after the ruling party reconfirms him as its leader this month.

“We’ve entered the next stage toward making equities a core business,” Osade, 47, said. “Despite the deteriorating market conditions stemming from concerns over the world economy and China, overseas investors’ appetite for Japan stocks hasn’t changed at all.”

The six people hired this week include Katsuhiro Iemoto from SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., Maki Mizukoshi from Nomura Holdings Inc. and Toshihide Matsumoto from Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Ltd., Osade said. It also added staff from Barclays Plc, Advantage Partners Inc. and UBS Group AG, he said.

Chief Executive Officer Yasuhiro Sato is seeking to expand Mizuho’s Japan equity operation to earn more fees from trading and investment banking as low interest rates depress income from loans.

Osade said bolstering the equity division will help to generate more “primary” business such as underwriting of share sales. Mizuho is fifth among managers of equity offerings in Japan this year, and held the same ranking in 2014, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

While the benchmark Topix index has retreated about 15 percent since China devalued its currency on Aug. 11, it has gained 72 percent since Abe took office in December 2012 vowing to reflate the world’s third-largest economy. The Topix slid 2.4 percent at 1:46 p.m. in Tokyo Friday.

Wages Rise

Japan’s regular wages increased in July by the most in almost 10 years, labor ministry figures showed Friday. Base pay climbed 0.6 percent, the steepest increase since November 2005.

Mizuho will hold a conference for investors in Tokyo from Sept. 7 to Sept. 11. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga is scheduled to speak, along with Nobel laureate Paul Krugman. Kunio Ito, a Hitotsubashi University professor who headed a review of Japan’s corporate governance, and Bank of Japan officials will also talk at the event.

Last month, Mizuho hired Yasuo Nakane from Deutsche Bank AG as head of technology research and Yoshitsugu Yamamoto from BNP Paribas SA as a senior analyst for the semiconductor industry.