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Japan's NTT picks London as overseas base despite Brexit risk

UK capital 'remains attractive' as launchpad for telecom's global expansion

NTT says it was attracted to London's wealth of human capital.   © Reuters

LONDON -- Top Japanese telecom group NTT plans to locate its new overseas headquarters in London, bucking a trend of multinational companies moving out of the U.K. amid uncertainty over Brexit, Nikkei has learned.

The London office is part of a reorganization slated for July and will serve as a key base for Nippon Telegraph and Telephone's efforts to expand beyond Japan.

The new company will oversee information technology services provider Dimension Data, which NTT acquired in 2010, as well as the overseas operations of Tokyo-based systems builder NTT Communications and other subsidiaries.

"London remains attractive, offering both the City, a global finance hub, as well as a wealth of human capital," a person close to NTT said.

NTT's move into London comes as Japanese manufacturers with U.K. operations weigh contingency plans for a "no deal" British exit from the European Union, which could trigger sudden tariffs and other business disruptions.

Europe accounts for roughly $2.3 billion of Dimension's $8 billion annual revenue, making it the company's most important region after the Americas.

NTT's earnings remain skewed toward Japan, with wireless unit NTT Docomo generating roughly 60% of the group's operating profit.

Dimension Data Group CEO Jason Goodall is to lead the new headquarters. NTT Communications Senior Executive Vice President Masaaki Moribayashi also will be part of the leadership team.

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