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UBS profit down amid stormy markets

UBS remains cautious about its full-year results

(Keystone)

Switzerland's largest bank, UBS, has reported that third-quarter profit fell to SFr942 million ($651.9 million) - better than analysts' forecasts.

The bank also announced it was scrapping the PaineWebber and Warburg names and from now would just have one brand - UBS.

The figure was well above analysts' estimates of a profit of around SFr812 million but almost 30 per cent down on the second quarter.

The bank said in a statement that the third-quarter figures reflected the turbulent global equity markets and the depressed levels of corporate and investor activity.

"We have demonstrated our ability to manage costs according to prevailing market conditions, with all our businesses continuing to show the elasticity of their cost bases," said Peter Wuffli, head of UBS financial services group.

He added that business remained difficult in the current quarter, underlining the bank's cautious outlook for full-year results.

Brand change

UBS also announced on Tuesday that its businesses would be brought under the umbrella of a single "UBS" brand from the second half of 2003.

The firm will no longer market its services using the UBS Warburg or UBS PaineWebber brands.

The bank said it hoped the move to a single brand would help raise the firm's profile and more accurately reflect its integrated business model.

The decision will lead to a non-cash net writedown of approximately SFr1 billion, relating to the PaineWebber brand. This will be recorded as a "significant event" in UBS's earnings in the fourth quarter 2002.

UBS acquired PaineWebber two years ago for around $11 billion.

swissinfo with agencies

UBS third-quarter figures

Profit fell almost 30 per cent compared to the second quarter 2002.
But the figure was up four per cent on last year's third-quarter result.
The PaineWebber and Warburg names are to be scrapped.

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