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Negative Q1 for Swiss pension funds

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  • Negative Q1 for Swiss pension funds

SWITZERLAND - Swiss pensionskassen returned -1.5% in the first quarter, according to the latest calculations by Credit Suisse.

February was the worst month in terms of performance, as investments fell -2.8%, but funds managed a positive 1.6% return in March which helped to halve the combined negative performance of -3.1% of the first two months.

"Only thanks to a positive market development" were funds positive again in March, suggested Credit Suisse in a statement on the most recent calculations for its pensionskassenindex.

Full details of the study, which looks every quarter at over 100 Pensionskassen in Switzerland, will be announced in two weeks' time.

In order to meet the newly-lowered minimum return rate for the mandatory second pillar, pensionskassen would have to have generated a 0.5% positive performance for the quarter or 2% for the year. (See earlier IPE story: Swiss set pensions minimum rate)

Meanwhile, Swiss bank UBS today said it "estimates that it will report a loss attributable to shareholders of almost CHF2bn" (€1.3bn) for the quarter.

Details on the losses in the various businesses will only be revealed in May, but UBS confirmed "despite some initial positive signs, UBS will close the first quarter with an overall outflow of net new money".

"In the private client business and in asset management, the volume of client assets we manage has fallen considerably in recent quarters, primarily as a result of adverse market conditions, changes in client behavior and our own reputational problems, for example with regard to the legal cases in the US and the debate they have triggered," noted new UBS group CEO Oswald Grübel in his speech. (See earlier IPE story: UBS' Marcel Rohner resigns)

Grübel pointed out institutional investors "have stopped buying securitised loans".

UBS also announced it will continue to offer private client, investment banking and asset management services in the future but said it was looking at exiting certain - as yet unnamed - "high-risk and unpromising businesses".

Another 8,700 jobs will be cut at UBS worldwide to saving money.

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