Two of the Europe’s renowned banks — UBS Group AG (UBS - Free Report) and Credit Suisse Group (CS - Free Report) — are exploring possibilities of a merger. The news was first reported by Swiss finance blog, Inside Paradeplatz. The article stated that chairmen of both the banks could give consent to the merger by 2021.
The merger project has been nicknamed as Signal and is being driven by UBS chairman Axel Weber. Weber is said to be working with Urs Rohner of Credit Suisse and has also taken the idea up with Swiss Finance Minister Ueli Maurer.
The merger of the two Switzerland-based companies could lead to creation of one of the largest banks in Europe. Notably, approval for such a merger could be hard to get and also the companies would have to go through tough regulatory scrutiny.
Also, per the article, the deal could lead to staff cuts between 10% and 20%, or more than 15,000 globally. Banking regulator Finma has knowledge of these expectations.
UBS has long been looking for opportunities to merge with other major banks to better compete with U.S. peers. Last year, the bank was in talks with Deutsche Bank (DB - Free Report) and both the companies discussed the idea of a mega merger. However, the talks failed in the initial stage itself.
UBS’ restructuring initiatives in order to invest in profitable areas to better serve clients is encouraging. However, the top line remains under pressure due to persistent negative interest rates in the domestic economy.
UBS has gained 63.7% over the past six months on the NYSE compared with 12.4% growth of the industry it belongs to.
Currently, the company carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
A stock worth considering in the finance sector is Bank First National Corporation (BFC - Free Report) . This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock has been witnessing upward estimates revision over the past 60 days. Also, its shares have gained 38.3% in the past six months.
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