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Baer Makes ‘Generous Assumption’ for U.S. Tax Matter, FuW Says

Julius Baer Group Ltd. has made a “generous assumption” for a U.S. tax matter, Chief Financial Officer Dieter Enkelmann told Finanz und Wirtschaft.

Enkelmann was replying to the newspaper’s question on whether Julius Baer’s Aug. 20 decision to cut a rights offer by 250 million francs ($259 million) would affect the bank’s ability to settle a U.S. Department of Justice probe of Swiss firms that allegedly helped American customers hide money from the Internal Revenue Service.

Julius Baer, which has previously said the penalty the bank expects to pay isn’t “reliably assessable,” declined to comment further when contacted by Bloomberg News.

Julius Baer cut a rights offer proposed on Aug. 13 to 500 million francs from 750 million francs after shareholders criticized the bank for not specifying what 250 million francs of the money was for, FuW reported.

Julius Baer seems to have widespread shareholder support for acquiring Bank of America Corp.’s non-U.S. Merrill Lynch units, the Zurich-based newspaper reported, citing an interview with Enkelmann, who added that a “good portion” of the assets should be absorbed by the end of 2013.

To contact the reporter on this story: Giles Broom in Geneva at gbroom@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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