Bank regulator hopes worst is behind UBS

The president of the Swiss Federal Banking Commission says he hopes that Switzerland's largest bank UBS may be on a more stable course after recent turbulence.

This content was published on April 10, 2008 - 10:41

Eugen Haltiner told the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper that the dimension of the recent losses at the bank was "extraordinary".

"But these can be absorbed with a timely recapitalisation. The bank will be well capitalised again and has written down to a degree that we can hope for stabilisation," he said.

UBS announced last week that it was seeking a further SFr15 billion ($15.1 billion) in new capital after making a net loss of about SFr12 billion in the first quarter.

It added it was writing down another $19 billion as a result of the United States subprime mortgage crisis, bringing the total of writedowns to more than $37 billion.

Shareholders approved a capital increase of SFr13 billion from Singapore and an unnamed Middle East investor in February.

Haltiner warned that the credit crisis was not over as there were no signs of stabilisation of the US real estate market.

"We expect the situation in markets to remain difficult over the coming quarters," he said.

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