Swiss banks to announce massive losses

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UBS and Credit Suisse are set to announce combined losses of CHF 29 billion on Tuesday.

ZURICH- Two of Switzerland's largest banks, UBS and Credit Suisse, are set to announce combined losses for 2008 of CHF 29 billion later in February, the Sonntag newspaper reported Sunday.

According to the report, UBS will announce an annual loss of CHF 21 billion (EUR 14 billion, USD 18 billion) on Tuesday, the largest in Swiss history, reflecting the striking effect of the US sub-prime loan crisis on the company.

In November 2008, UBS posted a net profit of CHF 296 million for the third quarter following a year of losses, but warned that a renewed loss would happen in the following quarter.

Under a rescue plan unveiled in October, the Swiss government injected CHF 6 billion in new capital to UBS and lent USD 54 billion to the bank to transfer its non-liquid assets into a separate fund.

The spread of toxic assets, mainly linked to financial instruments now worth very little because of the US home-loan crisis, throughout the global banking system is at the core of the crisis.

Sonntag also reported that UBS would announce "5,000 to 8,000 new job cuts" adding to an earlier decision to cut 9,000 positions.

A company spokesman told AFP 22 January that further cuts would be made in the bank's fixed income, currencies and commodities trading unit, without specifying the number to be made.

The German language daily also reported that Credit Suisse would announce a loss of CHF 8 billion for 2008, although the bank is not expected make any further job cuts.

[AFP / Expatica]

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