Swiss government sells UBS stake

20 August 2009

The Swiss government has sold its stake in UBS in a deal that is expected to earn taxpayers in the country a profit of around $938 million.

A total of 332.2 million shares in the bank were included in the transaction and were sold at the top end of the $15.01 - $15.48 price bracket.

Speaking in an interview with the New York Times, director of the Swiss federal finance administration Peter Siegenthaler said that UBS's earnings for the second quarter "showed operationally that the bank is performing better" following the global economic downturn.

Analyst at Vontobel Stefan Schurmann added in a research note that the sale is a "positive signal", as it demonstrates that the Swiss government has renewed confidence in its largest national bank.

UBS recently agreed a deal with authorities in the US that will see it hand over information relating to a number of account holders who are believed to be evading taxes in the country.

Written by Asim Shah

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