The Swiss banking group UBS has agreed to sell its domestic wealth management activities in the Netherlands to Van Lanschot Kempen, an arm of a Euronext Amsterdam-listed banking group that dates back to the 1700s. Van Lanschot Kempen will pay an initial acquisition price of €28m, a joint statement reported, although the final price “may be higher or lower depending on the [asset management amount] that will actually transfer to Van Lanschot Kempen” once the deal completes.
UBS is looking to debut a premium card later in May in a boost to its U.S. business and in a move to gain favor with wealthier Americans, as reported by Bloomberg News. The new card will be called the UBS Infinite card and bows next week on May 27. It has a $495 fee, which in turn, along with expenditures of $50,000, brings in a $500 annual airport lounge credit. The card provides an array of premium rewards, travel benefits and credits, including exclusive savings when users fly, stay, cruise or drive, and a rich earnings structure with rewards points that never expire while the card is open.
The vast majority of millionaires across seven international markets think the current period is the "most unpredictable" ever, according to a new study by Swiss bank UBS on Wednesday. A total of 2,842 high net worth individuals, at least 30 per cent were women, were interviewed in the U.K., Italy, Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico with each millionaire having at least $1 million in investable assets (excluding property). Mexican millionaires topped the list with 90 percent agreeing that we're currently living through the most unpredictable period in history. The biggest domestic issue raised in Mexico was that of corruption.
Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC is selling part of its stake in Swiss bank UBS at a loss, nearly a decade after it first invested in the bank at the height of the financial crisis. "Conditions have changed fundamentally since GIC invested in UBS in February 2008, as have UBS' strategy and business," GIC Chief Executive Officer Lim Chow Kiat said early Tuesday (May 16) in a statement. "It makes sense now for GIC to reduce its ownership of UBS and to redeploy these resources elsewhere," Mr Lim said.
UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti considers the global banking sector has generated a degree of complexity such that it can only be managed by artificial intelligence (IA). In an interview on TeleTicino on Sunday, he underlined "we arrive at a human physical limit to manage all this complexity." The phenomenon of digitization of the banking sector, which is imperative to maintain international competitiveness, should be viewed positively, Ermotti said, because it enables customers to provide more precise and faster services while banks can optimize the costs. For Ermotti "These changes are also reflected in the elimination of certain activities,". However, he recalled that in Switzerland, one million people will retire in the next ten years, while at the same time job market will require only half million.
UBS delivered very strong first-quarter results with an adjusted profit before tax of CHF 1,934m, up 42% year on year. Adjusted operating income increased 8%, driven by the Investment Bank, Wealth Management Americas and Wealth Management, and the firm continued to make progress on its net cost reduction program. Despite facing a variety of market conditions and client activity levels, all business divisions and regions contributed to the improvement in performance. Reported pre-tax profit was up 73% year on year to CHF 1,690m. Net profit attributable to shareholders was CHF 1,269m, up 79% year on year, with diluted earnings per share of CHF 0.33. Group annualized adjusted1 return on tangible equity was 12.6%, or 17.4% excluding DTA.
Switzerland's private consumption growth continued to remain around its long-term average, survey data from the UBS investment bank showed Wednesday. The UBS Consumption Indicator stood at 1.50 in March, and the February figure was revised downwards slightly to 1.45. Following strong growth at the beginning of the year (5.5%), domestic tourism fell by 0.8% in February compared with the same month in the previous year. Consumption was driven by solid automotive demand: new car registrations grew 4.8%.
Swiss financial body FINMA said on Tuesday it had discontinued its investigation into UBS Group in connection with Malaysia's scandal-tainted 1MDB fund. "FINMA recently discontinued its investigation into UBS. FINMA found no systematic, serious misconduct, but sent the bank a written reprimand," the swiss watchdog wrote in a statement following its annual media conference. Three cases remain unresolved, Finma added in a statement. A case against UBS was closed recently and the bank, Switzerland’s largest, was reprimanded with no further action to be taken, the watchdog said.
The two big banks are yet again trading neck to neck. Indeed, both their share prices have been oscillating slightly below the CHF 16 mark for more than two months (between 15 and 16 for UBS and 14 and 16 for Crédit Suisse). Crédit Suisse lags a bit following the sharp fall it saw in early 2016, yet its higher beta of 1.57 (1.07 for UBS) has enabled it to catch up most of this underperformance. We expect more ring-fencing between the two over the next few months.
UBS, the world’s biggest wealth manager, will impose a penalty charge on customers who park euros with the bank, a reaction to the negative interest rate environment in the euro zone. The Swiss bank, the world’s largest wealth manager, will introduce from May an annual fee of 0.6% on accounts with more than €1 million ($1.1 mln). The charge will apply to total amounts held by individual customers and be calculated on a daily basis. It comes in response to the ultra-low or negative European Central Bank rates, in the wake of the financial crisis, which have eaten into banks’ margins. UBS currently imposes an individual deposit charge for large account balances held in Swiss francs by corporate, institutional and certain very wealthy clients, as it deals with negative interest rates charged by the Swiss National Bank.
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