Broker Nikko warns of $1bn loss

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The Independent Online
NIKKO SECURITIES, Japan's third-biggest brokerage, yesterday warned it would lose as much as $1bn (pounds 600m) in the year to March and would cut 2,000 of its 8,500 staff in Japan.

Nikko's statement came as Sumitomo Bank, Japan's second largest, led a procession of banks asking for government aid with bad debts. Sumitomo is to ask for between 400 and 500 billion yen (pounds 2.5bn), and plans to cut 2,000 of its 15,000-strong workforce by March 2001.

Five other banks, including Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank, said they would apply for public funds. However, to the market's surprise, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, the country's largest lender, said it would not be asking for government help.