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Julius Baer profits jump 15%

Swiss bank beats expectations on back of global financial revival

Gulf News

Zurich: Swiss private bank Julius Baer on Monday posted a 15 per cent hike in its 2012 net profit, beating analysts’ expectations amid healthy cash inflows as global financial markets began bouncing back.

Net profit at the bank, which specialises in wealth management, jumped to 298 million Swiss francs ($328 million, €240 million, Dh1.2 billion) last year, while its assets under management swelled 11 per cent to 189 billion Swiss francs, it said in a statement.

“We remained well in favour with clients in all our markets in 2012,” company chief executive Boris Collardi said in the statement.

He said “substantial net new money inflow near the top end of our target range underlines the fundamental strength” of the bank.

Analysts polled by financial agency AWP had expected the Zurich-based bank to rake in a net profit of 275 million Swiss francs last year, while managing 189.3 billion in assets.

Net inflows at Julius Baer were, meanwhile, up 5.7 per cent last year at 9.7 billion Swiss francs.

The board of directors would propose a dividend of 0.60 Swiss francs, unchanged from the year before, the bank said.

Julius Baer, one of Switzerland’s biggest private banks, announced last August that it would buy Merrill Lynch’s wealth management business outside the United States and Japan for some 860 million Swiss francs, in a bid to strengthen its presence in emerging markets. The purchase was finalised last week, the bank said.

“We initiated the transition into Julius Baer’s next strategic phase of growth, [and] the integration... is well on track,” Collardi said.

Following the news, Julius Baer saw its share price shrink 1.86 per cent to 36.86 Swiss francs in morning trading on a Swiss stock exchange, up 0.31 per cent.