ZURICH Feb 4 UBS swung to a larger-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, bolstered by a large tax benefit and its investment bank, which returned to the black.
Switzerland's biggest bank said on Tuesday net profit for the quarter stood at 917 million Swiss francs ($1.02 billion), including a 470 million franc benefit from deferring its taxes.
The net profit figure, compared to a 1.89 billion franc loss a year ago, is nearly three times the 354 million francs analysts expected according to a Reuters poll of 16 banks and brokerages.
UBS said the earnings will allow it to pay shareholders 0.25 Swiss francs a share for the year, two-thirds more than in 2012. UBS repeated a pledge to pay out more than 50 percent of profits once it reaches a key capital target, which is now within striking distance. UBS's 2013 dividend represents a 30 percent payout ratio.
($1 = 0.9027 Swiss francs) (Reporting By Katharina Bart. Editing by Carmel Crimmins)