January 22, 2018 / 6:05 AM / a year ago

UBS ups investor returns as US tax overhaul socks bank with quarterly loss

ZURICH, Jan 22 (Reuters) - UBS, Switzerland’s biggest bank, on Monday proposed an increased dividend and new share buyback programme despite a hefty writedown from the tax overhaul in the United States.

The bank posted a 2.2 billion Swiss franc ($2.31 billion) net loss for the fourth quarter of 2017 as the U.S. tax reforms saddled the bank with a 2.9 billion franc writedown.

Pretax earnings rose 34 percent thanks to solid growth in its core international wealth management business, which the bank announced it would be combining with Wealth Management Americas into a unified Global Wealth Management division.

UBS proposed an increased ordinary dividend of 0.65 Swiss francs per share for the year, matching analysts’ expectation for a dividend hike from 0.60 francs in 2016. The bank also said it was launching a three-year share buyback programme of up to 2 billion francs. (Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi)

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