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UBS sees 2.5b francs in first quarter pre tax profit

ZURICH, Apr 12 – Swiss banking giant UBS said on Monday that it expects its first quarter pre-tax profit to reach at least 2.5 billion francs (2.36 billion dollars, 1.73 billion euros) after having already returned to profit in the previous quarter.

At the same time, the bank also revealed that an asset outflow was continuing, reaching an estimated 18 billion francs during the first quarter.

The net new money outflows were, however, "substantially lower" than that of the previous quarters, noted the bank. In the last three months of 2009, the bank had recorded an outflow of 56.2 billion francs.

Monday\’s profit announcement had come ahead of the bank\’s scheduled first quarter earnings report on May 4.

Analysts gave a cautious assessment of the news.

"The return to profit zone is welcomed and the weakening outflow is encouraging," said analysts from Bank Wegelin in a note to investors.

However, the analysts also questioned "how sustainable is the profit development."

"And when will the outflows finally end?" they asked.

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