UBS loses millions on shares

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The Independent Online

The curse of Facebook's flotation has struck again as the Swiss banking giant UBS yesterday said it lost 349 million Swiss francs (£227m) on the social media website's disastrous debut.

Its investment banking arm slumped to a shock quarterly loss of Sfr130m and it pinned the blame on the US stock-market index Nasdaq for its "gross mishandling" of the May floatation.

UBS lost so much because there was a delay when Nasdaq processed its purchase of Facebook shares on the first day's trading, meaning requests were made "multiple times" and the bank claimed it was left with "far more shares than our clients had ordered". The Swiss firm is now suing Nasdaq for compensation to cover "the full extent" of its losses.

Losses have got worse because shares in Facebook have kept falling since their debut, down from an initial $38 to $23 this week.

Despite the Facebook woes and "challenging" trading in investment banking, however, UBS still made quarterly profits of Sfr951m.