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UBS reports CHF3 billion profit in 2013

Things are looking up for UBS Keystone

Switzerland’s largest bank, UBS, has reported fourth-quarter earnings of CHF917 million ($1 billion) – exceeding the estimates of analysts. The profit comes thanks to higher earnings via its investment banking unit as well as a tax gain.

The figure is a stark contrast to last year, when UBS lost CHF1.9 billion in the final quarter of 2012. That loss was due to litigation and restructuring costs.

In a statement on Tuesday, the bank said that its pre-tax operating profit in the October-December period was CHF449 million. Its full-year net profit for 2013 totalled CHF3.17 billion. In comparison, UBS lost CHF2.48 billion in 2012.

Profits from UBS’s private bank rose 18%, but spending crept up – partly due to higher bonuses. The unit won CHF5.8 billion in fresh funds from clients, much of it from Asia and from people with more than $50 million to bank.

The bank also reported a net income tax benefit of CHF470 million on deferred taxes.

UBS said that uncertainty over global growth, fragility in emerging markets and unresolved issues in Europe and the US “make improvements in prevailing market conditions unlikely”. However, it added that “despite possible headwinds, we expect that our wealth management businesses will continue to attract net new money”.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR