Swiss banking giant UBS unveiled net profit of 1.246bn Swiss francs (£970m) for the third quarter of 2018, beating analysts expectations.
The results amounted to a 32 per cent jump in third quarter earnings, beating the consensus expectation of 993m Swiss francs.
In the year-to-date net profit stands at 4.044bn Swiss francs, up from 3.389bn Swiss francs at the same stage last year.
Global economic growth prospects and monetary policy normalisation continue to provide a supportive backdrop to our business, although ongoing geopolitical tensions, rising protectionism and trade disputes have further dampened investor sentiment and confidence,” the bank said.
“We expect these latter trends to continue to impact global wealth management clients’ transaction activity in the fourth quarter; however, moderately increased levels of volatility and volumes are generally positive for our institutional business in the investment bank.”
UBS said it planned to increase pre-tax profits in its wealth management business by 10-15 per cent between 2019 and 2021.
It hopes to achieve this by targeting growth in the Americas and Asia Pacific.
“Expansion in the American ultra-high net worth segment alone is expected to contribute significant net new money over the next three years,” it said.
CFRA equity analyst Firdaus Ibrahim said it was a “strong quarter” for the Swiss bank.
“Notable strong performance was observed at the investment bank, where operating profit increased by 75 per cent on strong revenue growth in equities (plus 15 per cent) and foreign exchange, rates and credit (plus 30 per cent).
“We note that its outlook statement remains understandably cautious as ongoing geopolitical uncertainties will weigh on investor sentiment and confidence. That said, we raise our call to buy as its shares are trading at an undemanding valuation.”