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UBS Capital reports 38 per cent reduction in private equity investment year on year

18 Feb 2003

The private equity arm of Swiss bank UBS Warburg, UBS Capital, has announced yet more writedowns and further declines on investments. The firm's private equity investments, including fund investments, stood at CHF3.1bn on 31 December 2002, a 38 per cent decline from the CHF5bn reported the previous year.

The fair value, or market value, of UBS Capital’s portfolio was CHF3.8bn at the end of Q4 2002, compared to CHF4.4bn at the end of Q3.

The firm also reported a pre-tax loss of CHF362m for the quarter, CHF75m more than that posted in the fourth quarter of 2001.

UBS Capital reiterated its plan to reduce its exposure to private equity, and also emphasised the reduction of its unfunded commitments to CHF2.1bn by the end of the quarter, from CHF3bn at the end of Q4 2001.

‘We will continue to focus on managing existing assets and reducing unfunded commitments,’ the firm said in a statement.

‘We will capitalise on exit opportunities where they arise. However, it is likely that UBS Capital will report further losses if economic conditions remain poor and exit opportunities remain limited.’

UBS Capital made CHF389m-worth of writedowns in the fourth quarter of 2003, across all regions and industries.

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