Central bank faces loss of CHF15 billion

SNB President Thomas Jordan looks back on a weak annual results following a bumper year in 2017. Keystone

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) says it expects to report a loss of about CHF15 billion ($15.3 billion) for 2018, mainly because of a weak performance of foreign currency positions.

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In a report on provisional annual calculations, the SNB said on Wednesday that the federal and cantonal authorities would nonetheless still benefit a CHF2 billion payment – two-thirds of which will go to the 26 cantons.

Observers said the annual result was widely expected as the SNB reported a loss of nearly CHF8 billion in September. The leading Swiss commercial bank, UBS, on Monday estimated the central bank loss at CHF14 billion.

“After taking into account the distribution reserve of CHF67.3 billion, the net profit will be in the region of CHF47 billion,” the SNB said in a statement.

The result allows a dividend payment of CHF15 per share, according to the bank.

A detailed report on the annual result is due to be released at the beginning of March.

Last year, the SNB reported a record surplus of CHF54.4 billion.

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