Thousands hit by closure of UBS fund

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UBS clients were hit by the bank’s liquidation of a property investment fund worth billions of Swiss francs.

Zurich -- Thousands of UBS clients were hit by the bank’s liquidation of a property investment fund worth billions of Swiss francs, Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported Sunday.

"We can understand your disappointment," the bank wrote in a letter to investors, according to excerpts quoted by the newspaper.

Not only were institutional investors affected, but also "thousands of private clients," said the newspaper, which added that the closure of the Global Property Fund was confirmed by the bank.

Launched in 2004, the fund invested in some 165 properties in locations including the United States, Britain, France, Germany and Japan.

In early 2007, it boasted a value of about CHF 10 billion.

However, with property prices hurt by the financial and economic crises, its value has now dropped to around CHF 4.3 billion.

The latest fund closure could further hurt UBS bids to regain clients' confidence.

Shaken by the bank's financial troubles, customers withdrew CHF 91.1 billion in assets and funds over the first nine months of 2009.

AFP / Expatica

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