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Sarasin First-Half Profit Falls 27% Amid Client Caution

July 31 (Bloomberg) -- The Safra Group said it completed its acquisition of a 50.15 percent stake in Bank Sarasin & Cie. and offered to buy all outstanding Class B registered shares.

Safra will offer 27 Swiss francs ($27.66) a share, the group said in an e-mailed statement today. Luxembourg-based JSH SA, a Safra unit, will probably announce the offer Aug. 20, according to the statement.

Safra said it now owns 71.01 percent of the voting rights of Sarasin and that it plans to eliminate all dividends as of this year in line with company policy for reinvesting profit.

Sarasin yesterday reported that first-half net income fell to 44.5 million Swiss francs from 61.3 million francs a year earlier. Client inflows dropped to 472 million francs from 3.9 billion francs a year earlier and assets under management rose 2.8 percent to 99.1 billion francs at the end of June from 96.4 billion francs six months earlier.

Shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting today elected a new Board of Directors for the Basel, Switzerland-based bank. The board includes Chairman Pierre-Alain Bracher, Vice-Chairman Hans-Rudolf Hufschmid, Philippe Dupont, Sergio Penchas, Jacob J. Safra, Sipko N. Schat, Marcelo Szerman and Dagmar G. Woehrl, Sarasin said in a separate statement.

Chairman Christoph Ammann and Peter Derendinger and Pim W. Mol will leave the bank effective today, Sarasin said.

Safra said it has retained Credit Suisse Group AG to handle the share purchase, which will run Sept. 4 through Sept. 17 and may be extended. Safra expects Sarasin to increase its share capital by 250 million Swiss francs.

Safra, which said it had approximately $101 billion assets under management as of year end 2011, includes Banco Safra, Banque J. Safra (Suisse), Safra National Bank of New York and Safra International Bank and Trust.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Kraus in London at jkraus2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dylan Griffiths at dgriffiths1@bloomberg.net

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