UBS Group AG is retreating from its South African investment-banking operations after laying off most of its dealmakers in the country, according to people familiar with the matter.
Around eight bankers have left the firm’s office, which also covers some of sub-Saharan Africa, the people said, asking not to be named because the information is private. The bank plans to now cover its key corporate clients in the region out of London, they said.
“We remain committed to our business in South Africa and retain a significant presence in the region,” said a UBS spokeswoman, noting that the investment bank in nation won’t closed entirely.
The bank is following a conservative approach and is in a cutting mode, said the people. UBS plans to keep some capabilities in the country, including research and trading, they said.
UBS said in October that fourth-quarter profit will be hurt by reduced client activity. The bank’s surprise jump in profit in the last quarter was fueled by wealth-management fees rising the most in three years.
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