Bank Julius Bär reports higher earnings

Swiss private bank Julius Bär on Monday posted a 15-percent hike in its 2012 net profit over the previous year, beating analyst expectations amid healthy cash inflows as global financial markets began bouncing back.

Bank Julius Bär reports higher earnings
Photo: Sporst

Net profit at the bank, which specializes in wealth management, jumped to 298 million francs ($328 million) last year, while its assets under management swelled 11 percent to 189 billion francs, it said in a statement.

"We remained well in favour with clients in all our markets in 2012," company chief executive Boris Collardi said in the statement.

"Substantial net new money inflow near the top end of our target range underlines the fundamental strength" of the bank, he said.

Analysts polled by financial agency AWP had expected the Zurich-based bank to rake in a net profit of 275 million francs last year, while managing 189.3 billion in assets.

Net inflows at Julius Bär were, meanwhile, down 5.7 percent last year at 9.7 billion francs.

The board of directors would propose a dividend of 60 cents, unchanged from the year before, the bank said.

Julius Bär, one of Switzerland's biggest private banks, announced last August that it would buy Merrill Lynch's wealth management business outside the United States and Japan for some 860 million francs, in a bid to strengthen its presence in emerging markets.

The purchase was finalized last week, the bank said.

"We initiated the transition into Julius Bär's next strategic phase of growth, (and) the integration . . . is well on track,"  Collardi said.

Following the news, Julius Bär saw its share price shrink 1.86 percent to 36.86 francs a piece in morning trading on a Swiss stock exchange up 0.31 percent.

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