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UBS AG to Expand in Tennessee

Zacks Equity Research

Swiss banking major UBS AG (UBS) recently announced that it will strengthen its back office operations in Nashville, Tenn. This move will result in the creation of 1,000 jobs in the city through the next five years.

At present, UBS AG has about 200 people under its employment in Nashville, across its two offices and wealth management unit. Additionally, the bank intends to invest approximately $36.5 million in a new shared-services center, which will cater to the company’s wealth management and investment banking operations.

According to industry rumors, UBS intends to lease about 90,000 square feet in the building that was formerly known as Regions Center on Deaderick Street. The newly built UBS Nashville Business Solutions Center will have job vacancies in information technology, legal compliance and finance. The office will likely open in the second quarter of 2014.

UBS has striven to gain profits and reinstate its former reputation, after suffering heavy losses subsequent to the housing bubble burst in 2007, a $2 billion trading scandal and the discreditable U.S. tax evasion case involving Swiss banks.

Further, UBS had given a bleak outlook on the upcoming quarters based on the failure to progress in material improvements, the eurozone sovereign debt crisis, fragile European banking system and economic uncertainty at large. However, the company expects its wealth management businesses to continue attracting new clients.

Therefore, UBS is at present exploring new avenues in order to grow its wealth banking business. Such prudent investments can further improve its earnings in the future and bolster its competitive edge.

The state of Tennessee has always been a much-opted choice for foreign investors. The German auto giant Volkswagen AG (VLKAY), Japanese auto manufacturer Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (NSANY) as well as Japanese electronics firm Sharp Corporation (SHCAY) have extensive operations in Tennessee too.

UBS currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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