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Swiss govt announces sale of stake in UBS

By AFP

Switzerland is selling its nine-percent stake in UBS, the federal government said Wednesday, soon after the bank reached a deal with Washington over its tax fraud investigation.

"The Federal Council (government) has decided to immediately and completely end its commitment" to UBS, a finance ministry statement said.

The government had instructed a consortium to place its 332.2 million UBS shares on the market, said the statement.

It had also agreed to sell UBS, for cash, the remaining coupons of its mandatory debt conversion, thus allowing Bern to get back all of its initial investment in the bank and make "an adequate profit," the statement added.

The news came hours after Switzerland and the United States reached a deal under which UBS would disclose details of 4,450 accounts to US authorities in part-settlement of potentially damaging tax fraud charges against the bank.

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