Nomura on slide in ratings

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The Independent Online

Fears are growing that Nomura, the Japanese investment bank that bought large chunks of the failed Lehman Brothers bank last year, could face a downgrade in its credit rating in the coming weeks as the group continues to integrate large parts of the American firm into its business.

Nomura stunned many in the City in September when it bought the investment banking and equities businesses of Lehman for a nominal $2. But worsening market conditions, integration difficulties and client retention problems mean ratings agencies are set to cut its credit status.

Investors were put on watch that a downgrade was possible last October, when Standard & Poor's cut the outlook for Nomura's international arm from "stable" to "negative".

Sadeq Sayeed, chief executive of Nomura in Europe, said in December that it would take the company's European business until 2010 to break even, after originally saying losses would be wiped out by October 2009.

The last movement of Nomura's rating, currently "single A", came in August 2006 when it was upgraded.