Swiss banking giant UBS Group AG yesterday reported better-than-expected net profit for the first quarter, which rose by 17 percent to US$2.1 billion, buoyed by an upturn in its investment banking division.
The bank’s operating income — the equivalent of revenue — jumped 8 percent compared with the same period a year earlier, to more than US$9.3 billion, Switzerland’s biggest bank said in a statement.
Both figures beat expectations of analysts surveyed by Swiss agency AWP, which had penciled in an average of US$1.6 billion in net profit, on operating income of US$8.8 billion.
UBS chief executive officer Ralph Hamers said that the first three months of the year had been “dominated by extraordinary geopolitical and macro events.”
However, he said in the statement that the bank had “remained focused on executing our strategy, providing stability for our clients and managing risk.”
“With volatile markets driving trading volumes, we facilitated high volumes of trades, managed risks and provided access to liquidity,” he said.
In corporate banking, the Swiss lender more than doubled pretax profit to US$929 million after taking a US$774 million hit related to the fallout from last year’s collapse of US hedge fund Archegos.
However, in the bank’s core wealth management division, pretax profit fell by 7 percent to US$1.3 billion due to a drop in client transactions, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.
Additional reporting by Bloomberg
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