Investment Bank Suffers, But Top Firm Does Well

Another good set of quarterly results have been posted by UBS. Net income for the third quarter came in down just 2% to $1.39bn. UBS Chief Financial Officer Clive Standish said that 2004 was still on track to do better than last year, as the bank had already earned 94% of 2003 net profit by the end of September.

Pre-tax profit at UBS Investment Bank fell 19% to $590m from 12 months ago as net income from trading dropped 21%. Profit from the firm's fixed income businesses fell 15% and income from equites was 6% off. The investment banking unit is, however, said to have a strong deal pipeline which will come through in the final quarter or early 2005.

The bank's wealth management operations put in a strong performance. Earnings were 20% up on Q3 2003 to $707m.

Standish said that 'despite the uncertainty that continues to weigh on financial markets and which may again dampen levels of investor activity, it looks as though 2004 will turn out to be one of UBS's best years'.

According to Bloomberg data, UBS's shares, including reinvested dividends, have returned 38% since early 2000. This compares very favourably with a negative 22% at Deutsche Bank and a negative 42% at Credit Suisse over the same period.

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