April 29, 2010 / 4:47 PM / in 9 years

UBS agrees to buy Brazilian brokerage

* UBS to pay $112 mln for Link Investimentos

* Buy will strengthen UBS’ wealth, asset mgmt in Brazil

ZURICH, April 29 (Reuters) - Switzerland’s UBS (UBS.N)UBSN.VX said on Thursday it would buy Brazilian brokerage Link Investimentos, a move that will help the bank beef up its wealth and asset management businesses in the region.

The buy is a small indication of a reversal of fortunes at UBS, which almost exactly a year ago was forced to sell off its highly profitable Brazilian investment bank Pactualas losses mounted during the financial crisis and the bank was hit by a damaging tax dispute with the U.S. authorities. “We view Brazil as a strategically important market with significant growth potential,” said Alex Wilmott-Sitwell, co-CEO of UBS Investment Bank, in a statement.

UBS said the transaction will cost around $112 million and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2010 subject to approval from the central Bank of Brazil. (Reporting by Martin de Sa’Pinto; Editing by David Holmes)

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