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UBS buys ABN futures business

Swiss investment bank UBS has announced that it intends to buy ABN Amro's global futures and options trading business in a deal costing $386 million.

The acquisition looks set to create the world's largest futures and options trader, with ABN's business adding to UBS's pre-existing futures trading activities that currently focus on Europe-based equity-linked products.

The total value of customer accounts for the newly merged business is estimated to be around $13 billion, beating the market's current largest futures and options trader Goldman Sachs, with just over $9.5 billion.

Commenting on the deal with the Dutch banking giant, UBS Investment Bank chairman and CEO Huw Jenkins said: "Today's announcement accelerates our organic growth strategy to become the 'scale' player in a market that continues to witness significant participation consolidation."

"This acquisition confirms our commitment to grow our Prime Services business through investment in out North America, Asia, Emerging Markets and Commodities offering," he added.

The deal is set to close in the third quarter of 2006, although this will be subject to regulatory approval.