Switzerland's UBS , looks set to top analysts' expectations next week by posting a first-quarter net profit of between 2.2 billion Swiss francs and 2.5 billion Swiss francs ($2.0 billion to $2.3 billion), a Swiss newspaper reported without citing sources. UBS, which said last month its pretax profit would be at least 2.5 billion Swiss francs, is seen swinging to a first-quarter net profit of 2.02 billion francs, according to the average estimate in a Reuters poll.
The world's No.2 wealth manager by assets said the pretax profit, which would be its largest since the credit crisis began, was likely driven by fixed-income revenue, especially in forex trading, where UBS has a 15 percent share.
Switzerland's SonntagsZeitung newspaper reported on Sunday that UBS's fixed-income assets unit would account for earnings of $2.3 billion.
A spokeswoman for UBS said the bank would publish its figures on Tuesday and declined to comment further on the figures mentioned in the report.
The newspaper also reported that Swiss corporate clients were putting more money in the bank than they were taking out, while in- and outflows amongst small and medium-sized Swiss private clients were likely to balance each other as trust amongst these customers returns.
But the newspaper said the bank was likely to still see outflows amongst its very wealthy Swiss clients.
Persistent bleeding of client money has been the toughest challenge for Chief Executive Oswald Gruebel, a former Credit Suisse CEO who was pulled out of retirement in February 2009 to turn UBS around.
Since the middle of 2008, 225 billion Swiss francs have left the bank, or about 11 percent of total assets
After posting the biggest annual loss in 2008, UBS returned to profit in the final quarter of 2009, the first quarterly profit for the bank since Gruebel took over.
(Reporting by Katie Reid; Editing by Mike Nesbit)
($1=1.082 Swiss Franc)