UBS to write down $5.9bn auction rate securities book 

The Zurich-based dealer, with a $5.9 billion ARS book of business, intends to inform customers via online statements that their holdings in what was regarded as liquid “cash equivalent” securities have lost value since the market ground to a halt in February.

Although holders of auction securities have been unable to move the paper on since the freeze-up, coupons have actually increased as penalty rates applied in the event of failed auctions have seen interest on the bonds climb as high as 20%

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