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UBS profit falls more than a third

UBS has been hit by the economic downturn Keystone Archive

The country's biggest bank, UBS, saw its net profit fall 35 per cent in the third quarter to SFr903 million ($550.6 million).

The result was even worse than analysts had forecast and UBS said it expected deteriorating economic conditions to continue to affect performance in the short term.

The third quarter figure compared with a profit figure of SFr1.385 billion for the second quarter of the year.

UBS Warburg’s, the investment arm, saw its pre-tax profit fall 27 per cent year on year to SFr878 million. The bank said the result reflected especially difficult conditions in equity markets since the September 11 attacks.

Revenues at Warburg fell to just over SFr5 billion from SFr5.689 in the second quarter but operating expenses fell to SFr4.622 billion from SFr5.221 billion.

“The cost/income ratio is absolutely integral to all of our businesses…and this cost discipline gives us strategic flexibility,” said Luqman Arnold, president of UBS’s executive board.

The private wealth manager, UBS Capital, reported a pre-tax loss of SFr112 million following a SFr351 million loss in the second quarter. UBS said it would now limit the level of its direct investment in private equity to concentrate on private equity asset management.

It expects UBS Capital to continue to post losses in the coming year. Invested client assets fell 11 per cent to SFr2.28 trillion but the bank said the drop was due to the performance of managed assets. Net new money inflows totalled SFr34.9 billion in the third quarter.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR