Money Briefs: UBS triples Q4 profit; savings on track

UBS triples Q4 profit; savings on track

ZURICH • UBS Group said yesterday profit more than tripled in the fourth quarter as rising interest rates and a rally in equities boosted the bank's securities unit and US wealth management.

Profit before tax rose to 848 million Swiss francs (S$1.2 billion) from 234 million francs a year earlier, the Zurich-based bank said yesterday in a statement.

UBS said it achieved 1.6 billion francs of net cost savings at year end and is on track to meet a savings target of 2.1 billion francs by the end of this year.


Apple to join artificial intelligence research

SAN FRANCISCO • Apple is set to join the Partnership on AI, an artificial intelligence research group that includes Amazon, Google, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft.

Apple's admission into the group could be announced as soon as this week, say people familiar with the situation.

While the introduction of the Siri virtual assistant in 2011 gave Apple an early presence in AI for consumers, it has since lost ground to rivals such as Google and Amazon.

Researchers in the field like to publish their findings, something Apple frowned upon in the past. That approach began to change late last year with the hiring of Carnegie Mellon professor Russ Salakhutdinov and the publishing of its first public AI paper.


Toshiba to hive off chip business

TOKYO • Toshiba's board yesterday approved plans to make its core memory chip business a separate firm and seek outside investment in it.

The drastic step will be one of many tough choices the Japanese conglomerate must make as the proceeds are set to cover just part of the charge for cost overruns at a newly acquired US power plant construction business - a figure that local media has put at 680 billion yen (S$8.4 billion). Toshiba's memory chip business accounts for the bulk of its operating profit.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 28, 2017, with the headline 'Money Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe