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Bank results


UBS makes better profit than expected


By swissinfo.ch and agencies


Switzerland's biggest bank UBS beat expectations on Friday with a second quarter net profit of CHF1.03 billion ($1.1 billion), higher than the CHF680 million forecast by analysts.

"We achieved this strong result by helping our clients navigate continued difficult market conditions, while staying disciplined on risk and further reducing cost," Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti said in a statement.

UBS, which has refocused its business more towards wealth management and away from investment banking since the financial crisis, said it had achieved CHF1.4 billion of its end-2017 cost savings target of CHF2.1 billion.

“UBS is taking responsible measures to save costs across the firm in light of the current challenging environment,” it said.

In terms of outlook, the bank said market volatility, macroeconomic uncertainty and "heightened geopolitical tensions" made worse by Britain's vote to leave the European Union had dampened clients' appetite for risk and lowered transaction volumes.

It added that tough market conditions were "unlikely to change in the foreseeable future" but that it was well placed to benefit "from even a moderate improvement in conditions".

The bank's profits were down from CHF1.2 billion in the same period in 2015, when market conditions were much more favourable.

UBS's Swiss rival Credit Suisse reported a surprise profit of for the second quarter of 2016 on Thursday. It posted CHF170 million ($172.5 million), down sharply with CHF1.05 billion in the same period of 2015. Analysts had been expecting a loss.

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