ZURICH - UBS AG moved one step closer Tuesday toward expanding in the United States by announcing plans to split its shares two for one.UBS, Switzerland's largest bank, said the split will foster its plans to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange in the first half so it can benefit from "potential expansion opportunities in the U.S." Analysts say the bank is likely to look for U.S. acquisitions to bolster its underperforming asset management business. "That could be an area they could buy something in," said Christoph Ritschard, an analyst at Zuercher Kantonalbank in Zurich.

Rival Credit Suisse Group also hopes to be listed on the NYSE by next year and plans to switch to United States' generally accepted accounting principles. But market watchers say that is where UBS is ahead of the game.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.