UBS posts best profit since 2010, ups dividend

ZURICH (REUTERS) - UBS proposed raising its 2015 dividend to 0.85 Swiss franc per share including a special payout of 0.25 francs, just ahead of analyst expectations, after posting a 79 per cent rise in full-year net profit, its best result since 2010.

Switzerland's biggest bank on Tuesday (Feb 2) posted net profit of 6.20 billion Swiss francs (S$8.66 billion), compared with the 5.75 billion francs analysts had forecast in a Reuters poll.

Fourth-quarter net profit of 949 million easily beat expectations.

UBS reported fourth-quarter net new money outflows of 3.4 billion francs at its wealth management business as an exodus from emerging markets and Europe more than offset inflows from Asia and Switzerland. Net new money at its wealth management Americas business was US$16.8 billion (S$23.9 billion).

UBS said it saw very low levels of client activity and pronounced risk aversion in the fourth quarter, when it booked a net tax benefit of 715 million francs thanks to revaluing deferred tax assets. It had provisions of 365 million francs for litigation and regulatory matters.

"Negative market performance and substantial market volatility since the start of 2016, low interest rates and the relative strength of the Swiss franc, particularly against the euro, continue to present headwinds," it said in its outlook.

Regulatory costs would remain a burden, it said, adding: "We will continue to execute the measures we announced to mitigate these effects as we work towards our financial targets."