Swiss bank UBS currently has no plans to buy back toxic assets which were transferred to the country's central bank last autumn as part of a government rescue package, a spokeswoman said on Thursday.
UBS could consider such a course of action at some point in the future, spokeswoman Sabine Jaenecke said, responding to an article in Swiss magazine Bilanz about the toxic assets.
Bilanz reported that UBS's management wanted to buy back these assets in order to remove any possible indication of government influence after Berne sold its stake in the bank last week.
This is not an immediate concern and there are no such plans. However, we may decide to make such an offer at an appropriate point in the future, UBS spokeswoman Jaenecke said in a statement emailed to Reuters.
The Swiss government bailed out UBS in October 2008 in the wake of the collapse of U.S. bank Lehman Brothers, injecting 6 billion Swiss francs ($5.6 billion) in return for stake of some 9 percent, which it sold at a profit last week.
UBS originally planned to transfer some $60 billion in illiquid assets to the central bank, which was later reduced to some $39 billion. Under the deal, UBS also agreed to stricter regulation of its remuneration policy.
SNB spokesman Werner Abegg said the central bank was managing the assets in the so-called stabilisation fund. If someone offers us a good price, we start talks, he said.
(Reporting by Albert Schmieder and Sven Egenter; Editing by Rupert Winchester)
($1=1.069 Swiss Franc)