UBS warns of continuing subprime risk

UBS has suffered significant losses from writedowns on asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities, and warns it remains exposed to further problems in the US housing and mortgage market.

The bank reported overall losses of SFr726 million for the third quarter, within its SFr600 million-800 million guidance. The heaviest losses came from its fixed-income, currencies and commodities (FICC) division, which reported SFr4.2 billion losses in the quarter, driven by writedowns in its collateralised debt obligation portfolio and its residential mortgage business. The bank also wrote down structured notes based on US residential mortgage-backed securities.

The bank said it expected to return to profitability in the fourth quarter, but the investment banking division would continue to make losses. It added: "The FICC business remains exposed to further deterioration in the US housing and mortgage markets as well as rating downgrades for mortgage-related securities, which could lead to further writedowns on the positions. As a result, UBS is not assuming that the quarter will continue as positively as it has begun, or that the current difficulties will be resolved in the short term."

See also:BoA starts retreat from investment banking
Merrill Lynch reports $5.6 billion losses on FICC business
Credit crisis hits Citigroup harder than expected
Credit Suisse and Citi expect profit losses for Q3

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