* UBS notified of several tax debts by BTG Pactual
* Companies did not have immediate comment on debt
* UBS sold Banco Pactual in 2009 to cover losses
SAO PAULO/ZURICH, Feb 6 UBS AG says it
owes Brazil at least $1.2 billion in back taxes dating back to
when the Swiss lender owned an investment bank in the country.
UBS said in its annual financial report on Tuesday that BTG
Pactual Group, which was formed when it sold the
investment bank in 2009, had submitted "contractual
indemnification claims" worth that amount, which includes
interest and penalties.
UBS, which owned Banco Pactual SA between 2006 and 2009,
sold the unit to a group led by Brazilian financier André
Esteves for $2.5 billion in 2009 to raise money to cover
credit-related losses in the wake of the global financial crisis
According to UBS, the claims "pertain principally to several
tax assessments issued by the Brazilian tax authorities against
Pactual relating to the period from December 2006 through March
2009, when UBS owned Pactual."
BTG has also informed the Swiss bank of additional Banco
Pactual-related inquiries by Brazil's tax agency for the same
period but "involving substantially smaller amounts," UBS said.
The notifications come a week after the government gave the
go-ahead to UBS's purchase of local brokerage Link Corretora.
Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo reported the news early
Public relations executives working for the Brazil-based
unit of UBS and BTG Pactual had no immediate comment on the
report. The finance ministry was not available to comment.
UBS announced a fourth-quarter net loss of 1.89 billion
Swiss francs ($2.1 billion) on Tuesday, following a hefty fine
for rigging benchmark interest rates. Analysts expected a 2.08
billion loss francs.