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UBS records best result in its history

UBS is the world's seventh-largest bank Keystone

Switzerland’s largest bank UBS saw a 29 per cent increase in its net profits last year to SFr8.1 billion ($6.6 billion).

UBS attributed the record result, which topped forecasts by financial analysts, to solid financial markets and higher revenues from wealth management businesses.

“This is the best annual result in UBS’s history. We believe it reflects our strong emphasis on growth,” chief executive Peter Wuffli said in a statement.

UBS attracted SFr88.9 billion in net new money in 2004, up 29 per cent from SFr69.1 billion in 2003.

In its statement on Tuesday, UBS said all areas had done well despite the weak dollar, recording substantial increases in private client trading transaction fees as well as corporate finance and underwriting fees.

The UBS investment bank did particularly well, with profit up by ten per cent.

UBS chairman Marcel Ospel has said he wants the investment bank, which accounts for about half its overall earnings, to become the number one global player by 2008.


UBS Chief Financial Officer Clive Standish said the bank had got off to a good start in 2005 and the outlook was good.

“We have a positive outlook for 2005,” he said. “Market activity was extremely strong in January, and we see that continuing in February.”

Standish said the bank, which spent more than SFr1 billion on small takeovers last year, would continue to build up its investment banking and wealth management businesses through minor acquisitions.

But he said no big takeovers were planned. “We don’t see any compelling need to do a major transformational acquisition,” he said.

UBS’s main Swiss rival, Credit Suisse, is due to announce its annual results on February 17.

swissinfo with agencies

Net profit 2004: SFr8.1 billion ($6.6 billion)
UBS was created in 1998 through the merger of the Union Bank of Switzerland and the Swiss Bank Corporation.
UBS has a staff of 67,424 worldwide, of whom 40% are based in Switzerland and 39% in the US.

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