Swiss Stocks Are Little Changed as UBS Climbs on Earnings

Swiss stocks were little changed, after the benchmark Swiss Market Index declined last week, as UBS AG and Julius Baer Group Ltd. advanced.

UBS added 2.5 percent after Switzerland’s largest bank said in a preliminary report that profit increased in its second quarter. Julius Baer rose 5.7 percent after posting a higher gross margin and a first-half profit.

The SMI slipped less than 0.1 percent to 7,927.45 at the close of trading in Zurich. The equity benchmark retreated 0.7 percent last week as a report showed German investor confidence unexpectedly declined. The gauge has still risen 16 percent so far this year. The broader Swiss Performance Index also lost less than 0.1 percent today.

“UBS and Julius Baer had good figures,” said John Plassard, who helps oversee $28 billion as vice president at Mirabaud Securities LLP in Geneva. “On the other hand, we have had a good run on the SMI and people are thinking we’re a bit toppish in this market.”

The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies was 15 percent greater than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

UBS gained 2.5 percent to 18.05 Swiss francs, its highest price since March 2011, after reporting second-quarter net income of 690 million Swiss francs ($738 million) in preliminary results. That exceeded the average analyst estimate of 586 million francs. The lender also said it reached an agreement in principle with the U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency to settle claims related to residential mortgage-backed security offerings from 2004 to 2007. UBS publishes its full results for the second quarter on July 30.

Julius Baer

Julius Baer jumped 5.7 percent to 42.04 francs, its biggest rally in 21 months. Switzerland’s third-biggest wealth manager said its gross margin, the revenue it generates from its clients’ assets, rose to 102 basis points in the first half of the year from 98 basis points in the year-earlier period. Net income fell to 114 million francs as Julius Baer increased the estimate of the cost of integrating the Merrill Lynch businesses it acquired from Bank of America Corp.

Credit Suisse Group AG, Switzerland’s second-largest bank, added 1.7 percent to 28.40 francs.

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