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Sovereign bonds: Nomura’s Gulf samurai

Philip Lynch, Nomura’s Middle East and Africa chief executive, tells Euromoney his firm has been mandated on a yen-denominated sovereign debt issue from the Middle East, which will come to market in the next few months.

The mandate is a sign of the Japanese bank’s growing intent in the Middle East following its acquisition of Lehman Brothers’ European and Middle East business in September.

New licence
Nomura gained a licence from the Saudi Capital Markets Authority last month. Previously the bank was only present in Bahrain, where it mostly sold Japanese equities. The Lehman Brothers acquisition gave Nomura offices in Dubai, where the firm’s Middle East wholesale business is now based, and Doha.

Until September, Nomura’s Middle East operation had around 10 people in the front office. As many as 50 former Lehman bankers, including Lynch, have joined the firm. Their presence, though, had not led to any notable new deals out of the region until the announcement of the yen issue.

"The bank is increasingly active in the trading of local debt and equity," says Lynch.

He moved to Dubai from London shortly before Lehman went bankrupt. Of the senior investment bankers he brought with him, Scott Ferguson, Arshad Ghafur, Mohammed Idriss and Jameel Akhrass are still in the same offices – with the décor changed from Lehman’s green to Nomura’s red.

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