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Sarasin tight lipped about future plans

Bank Sarasin's headquarters in Basel

(Keystone Archive)

Bank Sarasin is reviewing its options for strategic expansion, but it declined to comment on market speculation that UBS could be interested in the private banking group.

Analysts said that any deal between the two Swiss banks would be unlikely because of the tight control of Sarasin stock.

However, they also noted that Sarasin's sizeable private banking and asset management business would be a good fit for UBS, the country's number one bank.

"Strategically it would be a good fit for UBS private banking, Sarasin has a good client base in the Basel area. However, I would be astonished if such a deal went ahead," said Werner Huber, banking analyst with AAM Atag Asset Management.

"Sarasin has a good position and good customer base and wants to be independent so from their point of view there would be no reason for such a deal. They are also tightly controlled by a family," Huber added.

Eichbaum Holding, made up of nine partners some that include the Sarasin family, owns a 25 per cent stake in Sarasin but has 62.5 5 per cent of the voting stock.

"As one of the leading Swiss private banks, Bank Sarasin and Co actively follows changes in the market and reviews strategic expansion of its existing business," Sarasin said in a statement released on Wednesday.

"We are often approached about joint ventures and partnerships. Based on our market position and results, we continually review possible options without commenting on them," Bank Sarasin added.

Officials at UBS had no immediate comment.

swissinfo with agencies


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