Computer hitch cost bank up to $350m

 

UBS AG, SWITZERLAND’S largest bank, said its loss on shares of Facebook Inc isn’t material and declined to provide a figure after CNBC reported that the cost may be as much as $350 million (€281 million).

The bank was left holding a larger Facebook stake than the million shares it meant to buy after repeatedly entering an order that wasn’t immediately confirmed, CNBC said, citing unidentified people. UBS bought the stock after Facebook’s $38-a-share offering, tried to find a buyer at $35 and sold some shares for less than $30 apiece, CNBC said. Nasdaq OMX Group Inc’s computer systems, used to establish the opening price for Facebook in the initial public offering, were overwhelmed on May 18th by order cancellations and updates for the IPO.

Facebook closed at $26.31 yesterday. “Given the size of our US equities business and our role as a major market-maker, UBS was affected by these issues, as we believe other market participants may have been,” said Torie Von Alt, a spokeswoman for Zurich-based UBS. “We are continuing to consider avenues to recover our losses in this matter.” – (Bloomberg)