Seeking Alpha

UBS Group AG (UBS)

  • Mar. 31, 2014, 2:40 AM
    • Switzerland's competition commission, WEKO, is investigating several Swiss, U.K. and U.S. banks over the possible manipulation of forex markets.
    • Banks being probed include UBS (UBS), Credit Suisse (CS), Julius Baer (JBARF), JP Morgan (JPM), Citigroup (C), Barclays (BCS) and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).
    • WEKO started a preliminary inquiry in October, joining other authorities from around the world in investigating possible currency rigging.
    | 1 Comment
  • Mar. 30, 2014, 3:02 AM
    • A judge has ruled that a group of banks that includes JP Morgan (JPM), Citigroup (C), Barclays (BCS) and UBS (UBS) must face a class-action lawsuit that they rigged yen-denominated benchmark interest rates from 2006-2010.
    • However, District Judge George Daniels dismissed related claims against the banks for antitrust violations and unjust enrichment.
    • UBS, Barclays and RBS have already reached settlements with authorities for the manipulation of such rates.
  • Mar. 27, 2014, 9:30 AM
    • Wanted: Foreign exchange traders. The floor is getting thin at UBS, where the bank just suspended six more FX traders amid its own internal investigation of misdeeds. Three of the traders were in NYC, two in Zurich, and one in Singapore. UBS is the fourth largest forex trader by volume and - as was the case with Libor - has been ahead of the curve on talking action compared to other banks.
    • UBS' probe earlier this month was expanded from the currency desk to the precious metals business.
    | Comment!
  • Mar. 25, 2014, 3:27 PM
    • UBS suffers its second senior equities departure in a week with Jefferies hiring Matt Foulds as its global head of equity sales, reports the WSJ. Foulds had been with UBS for more than a decade and he joins Phil Allison who was reported yesterday to have stepped down as the equity head for EMEA for another position within the industry.
    | Comment!
  • Mar. 25, 2014, 7:40 AM
    • Top IPO banker Joseph Chee - head of global capital markets in Asia - had been put on leave amid an internal probe into the hiring of an employee related to the head of a hoped-for Chinese listing. The company in question is Tianhe Chemicals and UBS continues to work with it for a $1B listing later this year.
    • The employee - Joyce Wei - the daughter of Tianhe's chairman, continues on as an associate at UBS.
    | Comment!
  • Mar. 24, 2014, 3:50 PM
    • After an 18 year career with UBS, Phil Allison will be immediately replaced on a interim basis by Jason Barron and Dominic Vail, reports Reuters, citing an internal memo. Allison is expected to remain in the industry.
    • Allision is credited with playing a leading role in developing UBS' algorithmic trading and automated market-making capabilities, according to the memo. He became head of global cash equities in 2010 and in 2012 was given his current role. "Stay focused and ... maintain the momentum," global head of equities Mike Stewart urges the staff.
    | Comment!
  • Mar. 17, 2014, 1:12 PM
    • Named Capital and Consulting Services, UBS's new unit combines the bank's existing Capital Introduction and Business Consulting teams, says Global Head of Prime Brokerage Reinhardt Olsen in a memo seen by the WSJ.
    • "The combination will enable us to offer a more strategic agenda for our hedge fund clients,” says Olsen. The new unit will be led by London-based Mike Sales who most recently headed the bank's Global Head of Business Consulting Services and Head of Capital Introduction for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
    | Comment!
  • Mar. 17, 2014, 11:24 AM
    • UBS's annual report disclosure that an investigation of of its foreign exchange operations has been widened to include its precious metals business suggests the probe is about more than the twice-daily London gold fix.
    • The Swiss lender is not one of five banks which oversee the fix and - the FT notes - no mention of an investigation into precious metals was made during the company's Q4 results just one month ago.
    • UBS's disclosure is especially important as the bank has tended to be a front-runner among its peers in revealing the details of these numerous regulatory probes over the past two years.
    • As for gold trading today, the price threatened $1,400 per ounce overnight, but has retreated back to flat on the session at $1,379.
  • Mar. 14, 2014, 3:07 PM
    • Acting as receiver for 38 failed lenders, the FDIC  claims banks sitting on the U.S. Libor panel "fraudulently and collusively suppressed" the rate.
    • Among those sued: BAC, BCS, C, CS, DB, HSBC, JPM, RBS, UBS. Also named as a defendant is the British Bankers Association.
  • Mar. 14, 2014, 7:28 AM
    • UBS CEO Ermotti's pay of CHF10.73M in 2013 was 21% higher than the previous year, and consisted of a bonus of 8.23M and salary of 2.5M. Andrea Orcel - the head of the investment bank - took home more money with CHF11.43M.
    • The total bonus pool at the bank was up 28% to CHF3.2B as the bank reported annual net income of CHF3.17B. Ermotti has said it's important to take advantage of the big year, and "normalize" compensation to boost competitiveness.
    • In other UBS news, the HKMA finds bank traders tried to rig Hong Kong's Libor between 2006 and 2009. While the actions had a "negligible impact" on fixings and no fines will be imposed, the regulator asked UBS to take disciplinary action against those responsible.
    | Comment!
  • Feb. 12, 2014, 3:13 PM
    • There have been a number of suits against the global banks over claims of forex manipulation, but this latest by the City of Philadelphia Board of Pensions and Retirement is the first to include research highlighting unusual movements in major currencies.
    • Using data compiled by Fideres, the plaintiffs analyzed daily trading right around the 4 PM fix of currency prices ... curiously, anomalous price movements became rarer and less pronounced after the initial reports of rigging surfaced last summer.
    • Morgan Stanley has spent some time looking at euro/dollar spikes at 4 PM and also concluded they were unrelated to economic events. Instead of collusion though, Morgan pins the blame on computerized trading programs.
    • The seven banks sued by Philadelphia which is seeking damages as high as $10B: Barclays (BCS), Citigroup (C), Deutsche Bank (DB), HSBC, JPMorgan (JPM), RBS, and UBS.
  • Feb. 4, 2014, 10:46 AM
    • The bank has spent the past couple of years cutting back on capital-intensive businesses in the investment bank to focus on wealth management, and that unit contributed nearly half of operating profit in Q4 thanks to strong inflows, particularly out of Asia.
    • The balance sheet is looking good too - with a core tier one equity ratio of 12.8%, just 20 basis points shy of the bank's target. The leverage ratio of 4.7% puts UBS ahead of rivals like Deutsche Bank and Barclays.
    • The question is whether this is now priced in. UBS trades at about 1.6x estimated TBV for the end of 2014, well above the European average even as it delivered just a 8% ROE last year. Target ROE is 15% by 2015, though the bank says this may not be reached until 2016.
    • Earnings coverage earlier
    • The stock's ahead 6% thus far today.
    | Comment!
  • Feb. 4, 2014, 9:11 AM
  • Feb. 4, 2014, 2:39 AM
    • UBS (UBS) swung to a Q4 net profit of 917M Swiss francs ($1B) from a loss of 1.9B francs a year earlier and slayed consensus of 354M francs, with the bank enjoying a 470M franc benefit from deferring its taxes. The Q4 2012 results were hit by massive fines.
    • Adjusted pretax profit 755M francs.
    • The core wealth-management business attracted net new money of 5.8B francs, more than double than in Q4 2012. Pretax profit at the unit increased 18% to 471M francs.
    • Investment bank pretax operating profit 297M francs vs a loss of 243M francs. Asset management -12% to 130M francs.
    • UBS to pay dividend of 0.25 Swiss franc for the year vs 0.15 franc for 2012.
    • Switzerland's financial regulator Finma has cut the amount of capital that the bank has to hold against risk-weighted assets to 5B francs from 28B francs. The requirement is designed to protect UBS from "unknown" future litigation and other matters. (PR)
    | Comment!
  • Feb. 4, 2014, 12:05 AM
  • Feb. 3, 2014, 5:30 PM
Visit Seeking Alpha's
UBS vs. ETF Alternatives
Company Description
UBS Group AG operates as a financial services provider and a bank in Switzerland. It provides wealth management, investment banking, and asset management services.