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(Bloomberg) -- Vontobel Holding AG proposed a higher dividend as the Swiss bank and asset manager reassured investors it’s absorbing the impact of a surge in Switzerland’s currency.

The payout will increase 19 percent to 1.55 Swiss francs a share, the Zurich-based company said on Wednesday in an e-mailed statement. Vontobel, which has investment banking, private banking and asset management operations, said net income rose 10 percent to 134.5 million francs ($145 million) last year.

Swiss banks are under pressure to cut costs after the central bank on Jan. 15 surprisingly ended its cap of 1.20 francs per euro, sparking a surge in the currency, and announced it would increase charges on sight deposits. UBS Group AG, Switzerland’s largest lender, said on Tuesday that negative interest rates may hurt profitability.

“Vontobel is also affected by this development, but is well positioned to absorb the impacts of the changes in the exchange rate as a result of its strong growth in recent years,” the firm said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Giles Broom in Geneva at gbroom@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Mark Bentley at mbentley3@bloomberg.net Dylan Griffiths, Albertina Torsoli

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