NEW YORK, JUNE 3 -- Several major U.S. banks and nonbanking corporations today announced plans to enter the securities business in Japan through joint ventures.
Japanese Finance Ministry authorities had announced overnight that the banks could apply for the appropriate licenses, which in Japan means the applications are virtually assured of being approved, bank officials said.
Among those announcing new ventures were: Bankers Trust New York Corp. and Exxon Corp.; Manufacturers Hanover Corp., joining with Chrysler Corp., and J.P. Morgan & Co. Inc. with Bechtel Investments Inc.
Chemical New York Corp. also said it intended to set up a securities business in Japan through Bank of New Providence, a Nassau, Bahamas, subsidiary, jointly owned with Lord Howard DeWalden, a British real estate investor.
The new ventures all were born of Japanese regulations that virtually required the banks to enter marriages of convenience in order to enter the securities business in that country.
Those rules state that applicants for branch status that already have banking entities in Japan may apply only through an existing non-Japanese subsidiary that is not majority owned by a financial institution, an Exxon statement said.
Tom Parisi, a Bankers Trust spokesman, said the company had invited Exxon to acquire half interest in its Hong Kong-based subsidiary, BT Asia (Securities) Ltd., which will apply for permission to open a new branch in Japan.
The joint venture will engage in the underwriting, distribution, trading and brokering of debt and equity securities, and is expected to be operational between mid-October and mid-November, he said.
Bill Smith, an Exxon spokesman, said the two companies each will hold a 50 percent interest in the venture. Each will nominate half of its directors, but Bankers Trust will be "the operating manager," he added. Neither company would reveal details of the partnership.
In Tokyo, Manufacturers Hanover said it would apply through its Asia subsidiary for four licenses that would give it "full securities powers in Japan."