UBS profits rise

Swiss banking giant UBS has said it
expects to report a net profit of $2.4 billion for the first three months of
the year.

The announcement came ahead of the
bank’s official first-quarter results, due out early next month.

UBS also said its clients had been
taking their money out of the bank at a much slower rate during the period than
in the previous three months.

Clients have been leaving UBS since
the bank was hit hard during the downturn.

The bank reported a net profit of $1.1
billion in the final three months of last year. This represented its first
quarterly profit for more than a year.

UBS has been involved in a long-running
dispute with US tax authorities. The US has accused UBS of hiding nearly $15
billion in assets of US customers, and is seeking the account details of some
of its US clients.

The announcement comes ahead of
what analysts say could be a turbulent annual general meeting at the bank on
Wednesday.

Shareholders are particularly
unhappy at UBS’s proposed bonus scheme, which many view as being far too
generous, particularly in light of the bank’s relatively weak financial
performance during the financial crisis.

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