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EFG Int core profit up, overhaul nearly complete
July 25, 2012 / 5:56 AM / 5 years ago

EFG Int core profit up, overhaul nearly complete

* Overhaul of bank largely complete, now looking at growth

* Expects savings of 35 mln Sfr per year from 2013

ZURICH, July 25 (Reuters) - Swiss private bank EFG International said underlying net profit rose 33 percent to 74.1 million Swiss francs ($74.57 million) in the first half of 2012 despite a 4 percent fall in assets as the group exits unprofitable or marginal businesses.

Including restructuring-related expenses and the impact of Greek sovereign exposure, profit fell around 5 percent to 53.1 million francs as the bank slashed the ranks of its client relationship managers to just over 500 from 660 a year earlier.

“The process of resetting is largely complete, and the focus is now on optimising and growing the business,” EFG said in its first half report.

“EFG International is on track to deliver the net profit and loss benefit targeted in the business review of 35 million Swiss francs per annum, realised in part in 2012 and in full from 2013.”

The bank said assets under management fell to 76.5 billion francs from around 80 billion a year earlier.

EFG also said it has improved its capital structure, pushing its BIS capital ratio, a measure of financial strength, to 15.1 percent at the end of June from 12.9 percent at year end.

EFG is undergoing a radical overhaul under chief executive John Williamson, and this year has axed offices in the Swiss cities of Sion and Lugano, sold its fund administration business to Credit Agricole arm CAECIS, and offloaded EFG Bank Denmark to SEB Wealth Management.

It is also looking for buyers of all or part of its French business and hopes to float its structured products business, EFG Financial Products, when market conditions permit. [IDL:nL5E8DT1E3]

Earlier this week EFG International’s major shareholder, EFG European Financial Group, transferred its 43.5 percent stake in Greek commercial bank, EFG Eurobank Ergasias SA to members of the Latsis family, majority shareholders of EFG International.

The bank said the measures should “remove any misconceptions relating to EFG International and its exposure to risks arising from the Greek Sovereign Debt crisis”, adding that it no longer has any direct exposure to Greece, and exposure to European subsidiaries of Greek banks of 0.3 percent of total assets.

Specialised mid-sized wealth manager EFG faces competition at home from rivals Vontobel and Sarasin, now owned by Brazilian-Swiss bank Safra. ($1 = 0.9938 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Martin de Sa‘Pinto; Editing by David Cowell)

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