Swiss banking giant UBS today reported an $11.23-billion fourth-quarter loss—the largest ever by a bank—and its first full-year loss ever, after taking $13.7 billion more in subprime mortgage writedowns, reports the Telegraph. UBS, which still has a $27.59-billion exposure to subprime securities, is likely to take further markdowns in the next quarter, the company said. "UBS expects 2008 to be another difficult year," the bank said in a statement.
UBS, which has suffered more than any other European bank from the subprime contagion, saw shares sink to a four-year low today, continuing a six-month, 40% decline. Writedowns, now totaling $18.4 billion, have caused the bank to sell shares to a Singapore sovereign wealth fund and a Mideast investor to replenish its shrinking capital base.