Japanese Stock Certificates to Go Paperless, Nomura Could Benefit Big Time

| About: Nomura Holdings, (NMR)
This article is now exclusive for PRO subscribers.

Nomura Holdings (NYSE:NMR) (Tokyo: 8604) succumbed to overall market weakness in Monday trading in Tokyo but a Nikkei Shimbun morning edition article from today was likely a factor in Nomura trading higher in morning and early afternoon trading. The article highlights the significance of 10 to 15 trillion yen ($85.5b to $128b) of so-called tansu kabu -- stock certificates kept by their owners at home, in a cabinet for instance -- that will be converted to electronic entries from January 2009.

Accepting deposits of the stock certificates and converting them is seen as a huge opportunity for brokerages to expand their business and client-base. One thing for certain is competition to attract tansu kabu holders will be fierce. Per a new securities law enacted in 2004, stock certificates will no longer be printed or usable after June 2009 as the government aims for a paperless system to be in place by that time.

An article in the morning edition of the Sunday Nikkei Shimbun said 31 new brokerages have entered the market year-to-date, tied for the most ever in this period. The total of number of brokerages in Japan now totals over 300 for the first time.

It can be dangerous to make assumptions but I feel pretty confident in assuming that Nomura will be a big player in the tansu kabu deposit and conversion business given its reputation and name recognition, especially among the older segments of society that are most likely to be stock certificate holders.

Nomura's ordinary shares lost 0.67% on the day to close at 2,230 yen ($19.06). Its ADRs closed at $19.22 on Friday.

Nomura Holdings Inc (NMR) 1-year chart: