UBS reports steep decline in net profit
The country's biggest bank, UBS, reported a heavy drop in its first quarter net profit on Tuesday, blaming less favourable economic and market conditions.
The bank's earnings for the first three months of the year amounted to SFr1.579 billion ($901 million), down 29 per cent compared to the same period last year and three per cent lower than the preceding quarter.
Despite the decrease, UBS's management insisted it was satisfied with the results. "Our businesses performed encouragingly this quarter, with resilient income and well-controlled costs, despite the weakening equity markets and the industry-wide slow down in investment banking," said chief executive Luqman Arnold.
However, UBS said the outlook for the global economy remains uncertain and that its performance in 2001 would not outstrip last year's result.
The bank, currently ninth in the world in terms of market capitalisation, said assets under management fell slightly to SFr2.438 trillion from SFr2.469 trillion at the end of 2000.
But it said that new money in private client units rose by SFr11 billion.
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