Swiss bank giant UBS posts best Q3 in a decade despite pandemic

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UBS, the world's largest wealth manager, has posted its best third quarter in a decade despite the coronavirus pandemic
UBS, the world's largest wealth manager, has posted its best third quarter in a decade despite the coronavirus pandemic

Swiss banking giant UBS said Tuesday it nearly doubled its net profit in its best third quarter in a decade, the latest in a string of global lenders to report better-than-expected results despite the coronavirus pandemic. 

The world's largest wealth manager saw net profit jump 99 percent year-on-year to $2.5 billion, it said in a statement, handily beating analyst expectations for $1.5 billion.

The rise comes after net profit dropped by 11 percent in the second quarter to June as the firm stepped up provisions for bad loans with the global economy in a tailspin due to the pandemic.

UBS' profits received a one-off, third-quarter boost from the $631 million sale of a majority stake in its fund platform Fondcenter AG to Clearstream, a subsidiary of the Deutsche Borse group.

Its operating profit increased 26 percent to $8.9 billion, also surpassing analyst expectations.

CEO Sergio Ermotti said he was proud of the third quarter results, his last at the helm, with ex-ING group chief Ralph Hamers taking over as chief executive officer on November 1.

"UBS has all the options open to write another successful chapter of its history under Ralph's leadership," Ermotti said in the statement.

But UBS did not give any estimate of its outlook, due to a "high level of uncertainty".

"Going forward, the pandemic and political uncertainties may lead to periods of higher market volatility and could affect client activity positively or negatively," it said in the statement.

Other global banking giants to report surging profits this earnings season include Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup.

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