(TOKYO) Nomura Holdings, Japan's largest brokerage, and its biggest domestic rivals plan to boost hiring of college graduates by about 13 per cent next year in anticipation of a global market recovery.

The firms aim to take on a total of 1,580 college recruits for the year starting April 1, 2013, with Nomura hiring more than 600, Daiwa Securities Group Inc 500, SMBC Nikko Securities Inc 300 and Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co 180, according to spokesmen at the brokerages. The four companies have 1,402 graduates starting work yesterday.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average has returned to levels seen before a record earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear disaster in March last year, surpassing 10,000 last month. The country's gross domestic product may have expanded an annualised 1.7 per cent last quarter after a 0.7 per cent contraction in the final three months of last year, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of analysts.

'Last year was a severe one for the Japanese economy and brokerages working against the earthquake, the crisis in Europe, floods in Thailand and a strong yen,' Fumio Yoshimatsu, a senior executive officer at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley responsible for hiring at the company, said.

Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley plans an almost four-fold increase in graduate hiring next year, and it will mainly allocate recruits to its retail business.

The firm hired 47 graduates for 2012-2013, spokesman Hiroaki Konishi said.

Nomura Securities Co, the brokerage unit of Nomura in Japan, hired 615 graduates for fiscal 2012, spokeswoman Keiko Sugai said. Daiwa hired 354 for the period, according to spokeswoman Misato Kinoshita and SMBC Nikko spokesman Tadataka Ishida said his firm's recruitment will decline from 386.

'It's remarkable to see Japanese brokerages boosting hiring on demand for stocks and cross-border acquisitions, while foreign banks are still in a hiring freeze,' said Katsunobu Komizo, chief executive officer at Executive Search Partners Co, the country's biggest recruitment company focusing on investment banks. 'Overseas banks are conservative and they see the recovery and business demands as one-time phenomena.'

Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Bank of America Corp and Deutsche Bank AG are among overseas financial firms that have cut about 2,000 jobs in Japan since June 2010. About 200 overseas banks, hedge funds and buyout firms reduced their Japan staff to 22,000 as of Dec 31 from 24,000, according to Executive Search.

Nomura, in anticipation of increasing demand for cross-border deals, plans to post as many as 15 top recruits to its mergers and acquisitions team this month.

Nomura hired 604 graduates last year, 40 of them under the new programme, and allocated about five to its M&A team. -- Bloomberg