1. UBS posts second-quarter earnings above expectations

UBS posts second-quarter earnings above expectations

UBS posted a bigger-than-expected jump in second-quarter profit on Monday and chief Sergio Ermotti said the Swiss bank had "good momentum" going into the second half of 2015.

By: | Published: July 27, 2015 6:10 PM

UBS posted a bigger-than-expected jump in second-quarter profit on Monday and chief Sergio Ermotti said the Swiss bank had “good momentum” going into the second half of 2015.

Zurich-based UBS published earnings for the three months to June 30 a day earlier than scheduled to counter “incorrect and misleading information” in a report about the results in Swiss weekly Sonntagszeitung on Sunday.

The bank’s results showed net profit rose 53 percent on the year to 1.2 billion Swiss francs ($1.25 billion), much more than the 3.2 percent rise forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Profit in the second quarter a year earlier was hit by almost $300 million to settle claims the bank helped wealthy Germans dodge taxes.

“I’m confident that we are entering the second part of year with a good momentum,” UBS Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti told financial broadcaster CNBC, though he flagged seasonal difficulties linked to the third quarter, often a quieter period, and geopolitical and macroeconomic hurdles.

Shares in UBS, Switzerland’s biggest bank, were down 1.6 percent at 0720 GMT, slightly less than the 1.8 fall in the broader European banking index.

“These results show a company delivering on its strategy,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Andrew Stimpson, who has a ‘buy’ rating on the stock, wrote in a note.

TWO TO TANGO

Ermotti said the bank would investigate whether the Sonntagszeitung report, which cited an anonymous source, was the result of an internal leak, or speculation by the paper.

“It takes two to tango so we will see (who) was responsible, if anybody was responsible at all or if it was just speculation,” Ermotti said.

The above-consensus earnings come a few days after cross-town rival Credit Suisse posted results and flagged an overhaul of its strategy that helped its shares surge more than 6 percent.

UBS’s private bank, which had its best second-quarter since 2009, posted adjusted net new money growth, a key indicator of future revenue, of 8.4 billion francs, above the poll consensus.

The adjustment was made for outflows of cash that UBS deemed not profitable for the bank. Stripping out that factor, net new money was 1.8 billion francs.

UBS also bolstered its capital cushion, a measure of a bank’s ability to withstand a crisis, to 14.4 percent of risk-weighted assets, up from 13.7 percent and ahead of its target of at least 13 percent. ($1 = 0.9605 Swiss francs)

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