Julius Baer H1 higher on cost-cutting; income falls
ZURICH, July 23
ZURICH, July 23 (Reuters) - Julius Baer said on Monday first-half profits rose amid cost-cutting, even as income fell on the year because clients shied away from trading foreign currencies, stocks and bonds.
The Swiss private bank said it was selectively considering acquisitions without commenting on ongoing talks with Bank of American about buying Merrill Lynch's non-U.S. wealth management unit, valued at up to $2 billion,
The bank also made no new comment on ongoing talks with U.S. justice authorities, who are cracking down on tax evasion by wealthy Americans through hidden offshore accounts.
Julius Baer's net profit rose to 175.5 million Swiss francs ($177.82 million)from 147.3 francs, beating the 156 million francs predicted in a Reuters poll of analysts.
Julius Baer in February cut its profit margin target while hiking its cost-income ratio goal due to the strong franc against major currencies such as the euro and dollar, a persistent worry for private banks because it eats into revenue, assets and profits.
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