Nomura, a Japanese brokerage and investment banking group, announced this Friday that they have signed a joint venture agreement with LINE and LINE Financial Corporation, a subsidiary of LINE. The joint venture will see them establishing LINE Securities Corporation that will provide securities brokerage and securities investment consultation services.
Released in 2011, LINE started life as a messaging application. It was created in the wake of the Tohoku earthquake when employees at NHN Japan, a mobile and PC video game developer, were forced to communicate via the internet after phone lines were down. Since then the company has morphed into a multi-service provider. For example, users can send and request money as well as make in-store payments with Line Pay or request and pay for taxis with Line Taxi.
Breaking into the financial market
LINE’s efforts to break into the financial world started earlier this year. The firm has released various statements suggesting it will enter the cryptocurrency space but, as of yet, nothing has materialized. Today’s announcement provides more concrete details as LINE Securities Corporation will be launched in one week, on the first of June.
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The two firms didn’t provide an in-depth analysis as to what services they will provide. Nonetheless, they still confirmed that they would be acting as a securities broker and provide investment advisory services.
The new service will enable Nomura to access a younger, traditionally harder to access, clientele. LINE’s mobile app is used by 75 million people in Japan, more than half of the country, but is more popular amongst young people.
The deal will also see LINE gaining access to a level of insight and expertise surrounding financial markets that it previously didn’t have. As already noted, LINE is owned by a video game developer and publisher, meaning it certainly it has tech expertise but not necessarily the requisite experience that would enable it to open a securities brokerage.
LINE and Nomura’ deal will see the former taking a dominant share in the newly created company. Nomura will control 49 percent of LINE Securities Corporation and LINE will hold the other 51 percent.