UBS - Substance Over Style

UBS has posted strong third-quarter figures. The bank is quietly going about its business, busy in its quest for global domination.

Net revenues for the quarter came in at $1.22bn and chief executive Peter Wuffi officially called the bear market over. The UBS man is delighted with the performance of the investment banking division and said that the unit is 'able to compete with anybody on Wall Street in terms of client mandates or talent'. Analysts have said that the investment banking numbers are as good as any rival. Net profit at the division was $709m, representing the second best quarter for investment banking in the last two years. Although equity revenues fell away by 6.4% from the second quarter and bond revenues were down 9% quarter-on-quarter, these figures do stand up to scrutiny.

UBS has now been profitable in every quarter but one since 1998. The bank continues to build up its wholesale banking franchise and the investment banking unit is making good steady progress. Although the bank doesn't make much noise about it, UBS has continued to build up its US presence, is serious in its bid to conquer Japan and is making all the right noises in Hong Kong as the government gets to grips with an ambitious privatization programme.

Wall Street has always been wary of Deutsche Bank and felt that the German powerhouse was the European bank mostly likely to take US firms on in their own backyard and around the world. Wall Street firms would be fools to underestimate UBS.

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