UBS may return to commodities in 2010: report

ZURICH (BestGrowthStock) – UBS (UBSN.VX: ) is considering possibly returning to its commodities business this year, some of which it sold during the financial crisis, a Swiss newspaper said on Saturday, citing the co-head of UBS’s investment bank.

According to the Neue Zuercher Zeitung, which gave no direct quotes, Co-Chief Executive Carsten Kengeter said UBS was about two thirds of the way to reconstituting its fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) business.

A spokesman for UBS confirmed the article was accurate.

UBS, which suffered heavy writedowns during the financial crisis and had to be bailed out by the Swiss government, is active in precious metals.

In January 2009 the wealth management giant took the radical step of selling its base metals, oil, and U.S. power and gas business to Barclays (BARC.L: ). It said at the time it would exit most commodities business, including agriculturals and base metals. It held on to precious metals, index and exchange-traded commodities.

Since early 2010 UBS once again is selectively active in liquid asset-backed securities, the collateralized debt obligations business, collateralized loan obligations, areas of the U.S. mortgage market and other sectors, the paper reported.

The Neue Zuercher Zeitung also reported that UBS may hire another 100 to 300 new specialists for the FICC division, which employs 1850 people.

Last year, banks including Bank of America (BAC.N: ) and UBS’s rival Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX: ) boosted staff employed on commodities to take advantage of an upswing in prices and greater risk appetite.

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(Editing by Patrick Graham)

UBS may return to commodities in 2010: report