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Nikko Cordial corrects report on group firms' stakes in group firm.

TOKYO, Feb. 8 Kyodo

Nikko Cordial Corp. on Wednesday corrected a mandatory report on the large equity stakes it and other Nikko Cordial Group members held in Bellsystem24 Inc., a group firm at the core of an accounting fraud involving padding of the group's profit figures, Nikko Cordial officials said.

The corrected report was submitted to the Finance Ministry's Kanto Local Finance Bureau.

Originally, Japan's third-largest brokerage group named only five group companies, including Nikko Cordial Securities Inc., another company at the center of the fraud, as large stakeholders of Bellsystem24, a call-center services provider which was listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The corrected report added Nikko Principal Investments Japan Ltd. to the list of Nikko Cordial Group holders of the Bellsystem24 shares as the sixth shareholder, the officials said.

In 2004, Nikko Principal Investments Japan bought exchangeable bonds that can be exchanged for Bellsystem24 shares, and it should have been reported as a large shareholder.

Japanese regulations mandate that holders of exchangeable bonds be identified as ''potential equity stakeholders'' on a mandatory filing to the ministry concerning holders of large equity stakes.

A Nikko Cordial official said, ''We were not aware'' of the rules that companies with exchangeable bonds should be identified as potential holders of shares.

The securities group has been mired in the profit-padding scandal in connection with a valuation profit on Bellsystem24 shares.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Feb 12, 2007
Words:232
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