UBS Plans 2-for-1 Stock Split To Get Foot in Door of NYSE

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.

"UBS certainly has an advantage, because they are a pure bank," Mr. Ritschard said. "They don't have a big insurance company, which on the transparency side is a big advantage already."

-- Dow Jones


Mellon Has Two Deals to Sell Four Branches in Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH - Mellon Financial Corp. has made deals to sell four of its northeastern Pennsylvania branches to smaller banks.Mellon has agreed to sell branches in Marshalls Creek and Lords Valley to LA Bank of Scranton, a subsidiary of $2 billion-asset NBT Corp. in Norwich, N.Y.

Mellon, which has $39.6 billion of assets, also has a deal to sell branches in Scranton and Clarks Summit to $653 million-asset First Liberty and Trust of Jermyn, Pa.

Terms of the deals, which are scheduled to close during the second quarter, were not disclosed. A spokesman for Mellon, Jim Dever, said it was not leaving the market but rather looking to "direct its resources" elsewhere.

"We have been refining our office network to recognize shifting customer patterns and preferences for new delivery channels, such as telephone banking and Internet banking," he said. Mr. Dever said the company "remains committed" to its customers in its northeast region. Mellon would have 18 offices there after the branch sales.

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