* Cuts exposure to Italy to $467 mln from $2.82 bln
* Most of Italian holdings in government bonds
* Also reduces exposure to Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain
* Move comes amid scaling back of European operations (Update with background, details)
TOKYO, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Nomura Holdings, Japan’s largest investment bank, said it cut its exposure to Italian government bonds and other securities to $467 milllion from $2.82 billion in less than two months to reduce its risk to the region’s debt crisis.
Nomura said this was part of a broader reduction of its holdings in Europe. The bank said in a statement it lowered its total exposure to Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain to $884 million as of Nov. 24 from $3.55 billion as of Sept. 30.
The bulk of Nomura’s holdings were in Italian government debt. Nomura spokeswoman Joey Wu said the reduction reflected both the maturing of securities and a sell off of others amid worries about the outlook for the Italian debt markets.
Nomura would continue to act as a market-maker in Italian government debt and had no plans to pull out in the future, she said.
The debt crisis in Europe has increased pressure on Nomura to put the brakes on its global expansion which has included its purchase of the Asian and European businesses of failed Wall Street bank Lehman Brothers in 2008.
Earlier this month, Nomura posted its first quarterly loss in 2-1/2 years and tripled a cost-cutting target to $1.2 billion, with about 60 percent of the cuts to come from its loss-making European operations. (Reporting by Nathan Layne. Editing by Jane Merriman)