UBS weighs cost of facebook flop
Swiss mega-bank UBS may have lost as much as $350 million due to the technical glitches suffered on the Nasdaq stock exchange the day facebook made its debut flotation.
Considered the world's second largest manager of private wealth assets, with more than $2.3 trillion in invested assets, UBS may now take legal action against Nasdaq as a result of the massive loss, it said.
Karina Byrne, from UBS, refused to confirm the exact amount the bank lost due to Nasdaq’s technical problems when the social networking company began trading on May 18, however experts think it may be as high as $350 million. “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,” Byrne said.
She added that UBS, which can trace its origins as a bank back to 1854, has not taken legal action - but is weighing its options for recovering losses.
The $350 million figure dwarfs previous estimates for the combined losses resulting from Nasdaq errors during facebook's first day of trading, which was delayed by half an hour due to technical problems. Last week, Nasdaq said it would reimburse $40 million in cash and credit to investment firms.
According to CNBC and the Wall Street Journal, UBS placed an order for one million shares - but did not receive confirmations from the bourse and so repeated the order several times, ending up with much more stock than it intended.
Facebook’s stock market debut widely disappointed investors. Nasdaq, which admitted it was embarrassed by the glitches but claimed that they didn’t contribute to underwhelming returns on facebook stock, has so far declined to comment on the UBS reports.