- banking - Switzerland - UBS
AFP - Swiss bank UBS said Friday it would try to reinforce its capital base by 2.51 billion euros (3.51 billion dollars) by placing over 293 million shares.
The shares will be placed with institutional investors at a price of 13 Swiss francs (8.59 euros, 11.89 dollars), raising 3.8 billion Swiss francs if fully subscribed.
The share issue will "help reinforce confidence in UBS and the place of Swiss finance," the bank said in a statement.
UBS said it was making the placement now in order to take advantage of market opportunities.
The share placement should allow the bank to raise its ratio of tier 1 core capital to nearly 11.9 percent on a pro forma basis from 10.5 percent as of March 31.
The bank said tier 1 core capital should in any case rise above 11.9 percent due to efforts to reduce risk-weighted assets.
The Swiss government welcomed the UBS share placement and pledged not to sell any shares it is entitled to obtain in UBS before August 4.
Switzerland last year injected six billion francs, then equivalent to 3.9 billion euros or 5.2 billion dollars, in UBS as part of a massive state aid package to stabilise the bank.
Since June 9, the Swiss government has been able to convert its mandatory convertible notes in UBS into shares.
Despite the pledge not to sell any shares until August 4, the Swiss government said in a statement it could exercise its right to convert the notes into shares at any time and it would make a decision "at the time it wants".
The bank said it expects to make a loss in the second quarter, the results of which are to be released on August 4, mostly due to loan writedowns and restructuring costs already announced.
Operating results should improve from the first quarter, mostly due to improved market conditions for the investment bank and reduced losses and depreciation high risk positions taken previously.
The leading Swiss bank said there continued to be a net outflow of funds from its wealth- and asset-management divisions.