(Bloomberg) -- UBS Group AG, the largest Swiss bank, said its wealthiest clients will be attracted to U.S. dollar assets after Switzerland roiled markets by scrapping the franc’s cap.
Private-banking clients are concerned a stronger franc will hurt Switzerland’s economy and the businesses that they own, Simon Smiles, Zurich-based chief investment officer for ultra- high-net-worth individuals at UBS, said on Friday in an interview. Clients worldwide have yet to decide on whether to change currency allocations, he said.
“When people are looking around where to incrementally allocate money, the U.S. remains very much the safest and strongest story in terms of economic growth, corporate earnings and potentially U.S. dollar appreciation,” Smiles said in an interview in Singapore today. “The news will reaffirm people’s preference for the U.S.”
The Swiss National Bank stunned markets on Thursday by abolishing its three year-old cap of 1.20 per euro, causing the franc to soar as much as 41 percent against the common currency. The central bank also deepened negative deposit rates, underscoring Europe’s divergence with the U.S., where the Federal Reserve is considering an increase in borrowing costs. Asian shares dropped while bond yields in Japan and Australia fell to unprecedented lows today as investors flocked to haven assets.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed as of 2:32 p.m. in Tokyo, heading for a 0.5 percent weekly slide that would be its biggest such drop in more than a month.
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