Patrick Kenny, left, of Lehman Brothers MarketMakers talks to fellow traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Friday, Sept. 5, 2008, in New York. Selling swept across Wall Street for a second straight session on news that the economy shed jobs for the eighth straight month in August and at a faster-than-expected pace. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)
TOKYO - Nomura Holdings Inc., Japan's largest brokerage group, is considering buying a stake in U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers, a Japanese newspaper reported Saturday.
Nomura has funds exceeding more than $1.87 billion (200 billion yen) for investment or acquisition of U.S. and European financial institutions, and considering Lehman as "one of investment candidates," the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri said, quoting Nomura president Kenichi Watanabe as saying.
Nomura plans to confirm Lehman's earnings results for the latest quarter, expected as early as next week, and studying subsequent share price movements before making a final decision of whether to make an offer, the Yomiuri said.
Nomura officials were not available for comment Saturday.
Speculation has been rife in recent weeks that subprime mortgage-hit Lehman could try and reach a deal for infusion of capital.
Earlier this week, South Korean media reported the state-controlled Korea Development Bank has made a proposal to acquire 25 percent of Lehman for as much as 6 trillion won ($5.3 billion).
Media reports also mentioned China's CITIC Securities or sovereign wealth funds from Abu Dhabi and Qatar as possible alternatives to the Korean bank. Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group denied reports that it was considering bidding for a stake in Lehman.