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UBS to return to profitability in 2009

ZURICH, August 17 – Switzerland\’s biggest bank UBS, which has lost billions in the United States subprime crisis, would return to profitability next year, its chairman Peter Kurer said in remarks published Sunday.

"We will be profitable again in 2009," Kurer said in an interview with Swiss Sunday newspaper NZZ am Sonntag.

One of the worst-hit banks by the subprime crisis, UBS has written down some 42.5 billion dollars on its subprime-related assets.

For its second quarter, it posted a net loss of 358 million Swiss francs (221 million euros, 329 million dollars).

Kurer said the current situation faced by the bank could be compared to the aftermath of a severe storm.

"One must first remove the fallen trees, then tidy up the house and cellar, and in the third phase, bring the shine back to the house," he said, adding that he believes the bank to be now in the second phase.

"And I hope that we can end this quickly, maybe already by year-end. To bring the shine back to the house, that would take based on experience two to three years," he said.


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