UBS announced a $12.1 billion first-quarter loss and another $19 billion in writedowns as fallout from the US subprime meltdown continued to haunt the Swiss banking giant, reports Bloomberg. Chairman Marcel Ospel, who oversaw the creation of the bank in 1998 will step down. UBS says it will ask shareholders to approve up to $15.1 billion in new funding.
UBS earlier sold stakes to a Singapore sovereign wealth fund and an unnamed Middle East investor to raise $13.1 billion following a fourth quarter loss of $12.6 billion. The bank also is working to reduce its subprime holdings, aggressively selling off the securities. UBS shares rose 10% in trading today on optimism the worst has been put behind the bank.