UBS to List Stock in U.S. as It Looks to Buy
ZURICH - UBS AG, Europe's second-biggest bank, said it will list shares in New York as it weighs U.S. acquisitions.The Swiss bank, also the world's biggest money manager, may want a U.S. purchase to get back on track after profits from private banking dropped 42% in the third quarter, analysts said. UBS shares have fallen this year, while competitors' stocks rose.
"They have many things on their radar screen," said Heinrich-Horst Wiemer, an analyst at Bank Sal. Oppenheim Jr. & Cie. An investment-banking acquisition "would make sense" after UBS said at a meeting with investors that asset managers are too expensive, he said.
The Swiss institution joins Deutsche Bank AG and Dresdner Bank AG in planning to trade in the United States. Last month's repeal of a 1933 law separating securities firms and banks could ease mergers among European universal banks and U.S. rivals.
Weill Files to Sell $60M of Citigroup Stock
WASHINGTON - Citigroup Inc. co-chairman Sanford Weill disclosed plans to sell stock worth almost $60 million.The 66-year-old executive filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell 1.1 million Citigroup shares, or about 8.9% of his 12.4 million shares in Citigroup. He sold 3 million shares in March. In Citigroup's most recent proxy filing, Mr. Weill also reported holding exercisable options to buy more than 5.8 million shares as of Jan. 31.
The Wall Street Journal, citing someone familiar with the matter, said Mr. Weill remains "comfortably within" the bounds of a company policy that executives hold onto 75% of their stock and options. Citigroup shares have risen almost 65% this year.
Scottish Bank's Highest-Paid Exec Is in U.S.
EDINBURGH, Scotland - Lawrence Fish, chief executive of the U.S. bank Citizens Financial Group Inc., was paid $4.7 million in fiscal 1999, more than anyone at parent company Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC.Mr. Fish's compensation was down from $5.2 million in 1998, according to accounts published by Edinburgh-based Royal Bank. His 1999 pay included $3.9 million in performance bonuses.
The package reflects Mr. Fish's "successful record at Citizens and the fact that executives in general are more highly rewarded in the U.S.," said David Appleton, spokesman for Royal Bank. Mr. Fish's boss, Royal Bank chief executive Sir George Mathewson, earned $1.4 million in fiscal 1999, including performance bonuses of $462,925.
Royal Bank said last month that fiscal 1999 profit rose a more-than-expected 22%, to $1.3 billion. This month, Providence, R.I.-based Citizens reported record operating income of $238 million for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, an increase of 14%, excluding a prior-year $55.4 million pretax gain and related tax effect on the disposal of a bank card business.
Calif. Cities to Appeal Ruling on ATM Fees
SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco and Santa Monica will appeal a federal court ruling that has temporarily barred them from enforcing legislative bans on automated teller machine surcharging.Both cities passed ordinances this fall prohibiting banks from imposing noncustomer ATM charges, prompting Bank of America, Wells Fargo & Co., and the California Bankers Association to sue. On Nov. 15, U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker stripped both cities of their enforcement authority while the litigation is pending. More recently, Judge Walker toughened that ruling, prohibiting the city of San Francisco from certifying its referendum results and barring residents in Santa Monica - which has already enacted its ordinance - from suing banks over the issue.
The cities claim Judge Walker misinterpreted the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, which they argue permits cities to pass local-level ATM laws.
- Helen Stock