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Japan''s top brokerage to tap Islamic finance investors

TOKYO, Aug 20 (KUNA) -- Nomura Holdings Inc., Japan's largest brokerage, plans to step up efforts to tap demand for investing in Islamic financial markets, including those in the Middle East, a major business daily here reported Thursday.
Nomura will expand its operations in Malaysia, adding stock trading and research to its services in that Southeast Asian country, according to the Nikkei Shimbun.
Nomura sees Malaysia as a key stepping-stone for its expansion into Islamic financial markets, according to the newspaper.
The Tokyo-based firm already obtained approval for offering stock brokerage services in Malaysia from the country's Securities Commission in July. After completing a membership registration at the Malaysia Exchange, Nomura can now buy and sell stocks on the local stock exchange, the newspaper said.
The firm also recently acquired a research team specializing in the Malaysia market from Citigroup Inc. Among Nomura group companies, Nomura Asset Management Co. is already offering asset management services that adhere to Islamic law in Malaysia through a local subsidiary established late last year, the report said.
In the Middle East, Nomura became the first Asian financial institution to establish a business in Saudi Arabia last month. (end) mk.ema KUNA 200902 Aug 09NNNN