Reuters reports that UBS has posted a $622m loss in the third-quarter, after $3.6bn in write-downs sustained on US subprime-related assets in the period. The bank said that, although all business units currently remain profitable in the fourth-quarter, the fixed income, currencies and commodities business 'remains exposed to further deterioration in the US housing and mortgage markets'. A Q4 loss over at the investment bank cannot therefore be ruled out.
We're busy getting your views on the 2007 bonus round. Here's some of the comments you have made when giving your opinion in our Martin Ward Anderson-sponsored 'Bonus Anticipation' Poll:
UBS came out at the weekend and issued a statement about its third-quarter profit, due to be announced Tuesday. After sustaining some $3.3bn in fixed income losses related to US subprime lending, the bank's third-quarter loss will come in between $517m and $690m as previously indicated. The bank says that the fourth-quarter has started well, but is making no assumptions that this will continue in the coming weeks.
Merrill CEO Stan O'Neal finally cooked his goose by making that unauthorized call to Wachovia boss Ken Thompson earlier this month to sound him out about a possible merger. With many thinking that a deal with Wachovia was never really on, Here Is The City wonders just which firms are big enough to acquire or merge as equals with 'Mother' Merrill.
It's only a matter of time. With Merrill's shares rising some 8% Friday on rumours that CEO Stan O'Neal was toast, the firm's 11-person board met for 2 days over the weekend to officially seal his fate. Stan's out after just short of 5 years at the helm. The smart money says that an announcement will be made later today (Monday).
The investment banking dreams have faded and died over at HSBC and Bank of America (BofA). And it was all so predictable. Despite recent pushes by both firms to get into the investment banking big leagues, neither were totally committed - and, in the final analysis, neither were very good at it.
2007 looks set for the most interesting bonus round for some while. After many banks enjoyed record first-half earnings, the third-quarter saw huge asset write-downs, profit falls and job loss announcements. But, although many firms are still in the process of 'right-sizing', the general view is that things will pick up again early next year - making it essential that good performing and valuable staff are incentivised to stay on board. And then there's the Goldman Sachs 'problem'.
Bloomberg reports that Deutsche Bank is considering joining the $80bn distressed SIV-asset plan being established by Bank of America, Citi and JPMorgan Chase. The news agency quotes Deutsche CEO Josef Ackermann, who confirmed that 'we're currently studying it and we're in constructive dialogue with the American banks as well as American authorities. Any kind of support for the market, particularly from the private side, is desirable. But details aren't yet clear enough to make a final judgement'.
The New York Times reports that Merrill Lynch CEO Stan O'Neal is in hot water with his board, after allegedly putting out unauthorized feelers earlier this month for a merger with Wachovia Corp.
Joe McGinnis has written a soon-to-be-published book called 'Never Enough', which deals with the saga of the Kissel brothers, both of whom ended up murdered in separate incidents. Robert Kissel, a senior Hong Kong-based Merrill Lynch executive, was murdered in 2002 by his wife, Nancy, who is now said to be angry at what she claims are distortions in McGinnis's book.