Nomura contributes to NRI’s digital asset bond and digital bond offering

Maria Nikolova

This is the first bond offering using blockchain technology by a Japanese issuer.

Nomura Securities Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Nomura Holdings Inc (TYO:8604), and BOOSTRY Co., Ltd., a joint venture between Nomura and Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. (NRI), today announce that they have supported NRI on its digital asset bond and digital bond offering. This marks the first bond offering using blockchain technology by a Japanese issuer.

The digital asset bond was offered directly to investors by NRI, while Nomura Securities served as underwriter for the digital bond. On both bonds, Nomura Trust and Banking Co., Ltd. acted as fiscal agent, while BOOSTRY provided its blockchain platform “ibet” and acted as register agent. Payment and issuance of the bonds were completed on March 30, 2020.

The bond register for both bonds is managed via the ibet platform. This enables issuers to keep track of bondholders, which is difficult with traditional bonds. The digital asset bond provides digital assets to investors instead of interest payments. NRI solicited investors for the digital asset bond using a smartphone app that connects to ibet.

Through the issuance, Nomura Group and NRI seek to contribute to the development of Japan’s capital markets in order to create value and help resolve social issues. In addition to providing funding through the capital markets, the digital asset bond represents a new form of collaboration between marketing and finance, which helps in expanding the functions of the capital markets. The digital bond aims to contribute to more agile fundraising through new financial services, including digital currencies.

Nomura Group has established a dedicated research group as part of its ongoing efforts to respond to the diversification of financial transactions due to advances in information communication technologies. The new research group brings together academics, issuers, asset managers, settlement agencies, financial intermediaries and other experts in the field to focus on blockchain technology in the financial and capital markets. The group will take a multifaceted approach to identify relevant issues and determine how blockchain technology can be used to help enhance and diversify financial and capital markets and respond to the funding and investment needs of issuers and investors.

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