Bloomberg News

TOKYO — Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. has abandoned negotiations to buy the Japanese brokerage Nippon Global Securities Co., company executives said.

The discussions had lasted nine months, said the executives, who asked that their names not be published.

Nippon Global, owned by Nikko Securities Co., would probably fetch $360 million in a takeover, analysts said.

Morgan Stanley spokesman Simon Locke would only say, “Over the last two years, we’ve looked at a number of alternatives for our retail business in Japan that we decided for various reasons not to pursue.”

Morgan Stanley, the biggest U.S. investment bank, is looking to tap Japan’s $12 trillion savings market. The company plans to open a brokerage office early next year to attract individual investors in the world’s second-largest economy.

Merrill Lynch & Co. and Citigroup Inc.’s Salomon Smith Barney unit have been more aggressive in developing brokerage businesses in Japan, analysts said. Merrill boosted its business there in 1998 by taking over 33 offices of the failed Yamaichi Securities Co. Salomon formed a joint venture last year with Nikko Securities to sell stocks and bonds to investors.

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