UBS’s investment bank, a star performer in recent quarters, crashed back to Earth toward the end of last year, hurt by wild swings in equities markets that pushed clients to the sidelines.
Bloomberg News reports that equities-trading revenue fell 13% to $792 million in the fourth quarter, offsetting an increase in earnings from foreign exchange, the bank said on Tuesday. Institutional investors, traders and hedge funds – mainly in Asia – stayed on the sidelines amid volatile stock markets in the second half of December. The decline pushed the investment bank unit to a $47m loss.
The result is a stark contrast to last year, when the investment bank was a bright spot that consistently beat analyst expectations under former boss Andrea Orcel. The top 5 U.S. banks reported an average 10% rise in equities trading revenue in the fourth quarter.
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