UBS posts 2.2 billion francs in first quarter profits

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Swiss banking giant UBS on Tuesday posted net profits reaching 2.2 billion francs (1.54 billion euros, 2.3 billion dollars) for the first quarter, up 83 percent from the previous quarter.

The group recorded pre-tax profits across all business groups including investment banking, which had run up big losses during the financial crisis but which now recorded 1.19 billion francs in in pre-tax profits for the first three months of the year.

The bank said its investment banking business had benefited from a "strong performance" in its fixed income, currencies and commodities business.

It added in its outlook statement that in the current quarter, the securities trading market was expected to be "generally in line with the first quarter, although concerns relating to European sovereign debt provide a basis for some market uncertainty."

The bank was unable to stem an outflow during the first quarter, with the net new money outflow reaching 18 billion francs for the period as clients took their assets elsewhere.

However, it was a sharp improvement from a quarter ago, when net outflows reached 56.2 billion francs.

"Net new money outflows are expected to be at relatively moderate levels in the near term, although UBS continues to believe that the steps taken to deal with the root causes of the net outflows will be effective," said the bank.

© 2010 AFP

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