Industry News

Swiss bank UBS takes $10 billion subprime hit

Write-downs aimed at 'eliminating speculation'
Published on Dec 10, 2007

Revising its estimates for losses on defaults in U.S. subprime mortgage pools, Swiss bank UBS AG said Monday it's writing down the value of those investments by an additional $10 billion, and may record a net loss in 2007. On Oct. 1, UBS announced $3.4 billion in write-downs, most on securities related to subprime mortgages, and said it would lay off 1,500 workers (see Inman News story). At the time, the bank valued its remaining positions in direct subprime mortgage-backed securities (MBS) at $19 billion, consisting "overwhelmingly" of AAA-rated tranches, and reported an additional $4 billion of exposure to subprime securities through warehouse lines of credit and retained collateralized debt obligations (CDOs). Since then, conditions in U.S. mortgage and housing markets have continued to deteriorate, and UBS has updated its loss assumptions "to the levels implied by the current distressed market for mortgage securities," said Group Chief Executive Officer Marcel Rohner...

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