Baer says Merrill Lynch unit integration on track

ZURICH Tue Apr 2, 2013 1:51am EDT

A logo of the Swiss private bank Julius Baer is seen at the company's headquarters in Zurich, February 4, 2013. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer

A logo of the Swiss private bank Julius Baer is seen at the company's headquarters in Zurich, February 4, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Michael Buholzer

ZURICH (Reuters) - Julius Baer (BAER.VX) has transferred ownership of businesses in Chile, Uruguay, Monaco and Luxembourg which it bought from Merrill Lynch (BAC.N) as it integrates the wealth management businesses it acquired from the U.S. bank.

The Swiss bank said on Tuesday the transfers would substantially boost its businesses in South America and Monaco.

"Moreover, we enter the market in the important financial center Luxembourg with a substantial client base, which also opens up new business opportunities," said Baer Chief Executive Boris Collardi in a statement.

Baer closed its purchase of Merrill Lynch's wealth management business outside of the United States and Japan in February, with the aim of expanding in fast-growing emerging markets and strengthening its business in more mature ones.

Baer said it would also transfer other major former Merrill Lynch businesses in Hong Kong, Singapore and the UK later this year. It said it expects the integration to be complete in the first quarter of 2015, with most large businesses to be transferred this year.

(Reporting by Martin de Sa'Pinto; Editing by David Cowell)

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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