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Swiss National Bank increases annual profit as stock markets boom

01/07/2022 | 01:50am EDT
A general view of the building of the Swiss National Bank in Zurich

ZURICH (Reuters) - The Swiss National Bank expects to make a profit of around 26 billion Swiss francs ($28.22 billion) for 2021, the central bank said in its provisional results on Friday, as booming stock markets throughout the year added billions to the value of its foreign currency investments.

The SNB made a profit of just under 26 billion francs on its foreign currency positions, which include nearly 1 trillion francs worth of stocks and bonds bought during its long campaign to weaken the Swiss franc.

The central bank suffered a valuation loss of 100 million francs from its gold holdings, offset by a 1 billion franc profit from its Swiss franc positions, mainly the negative interest rates it charges commercial banks to hold money overnight.

As a result, its annual profit is expected to be higher than the 20.9 billion francs profit it made for 2020.

The performance means the SNB will pay an unchanged dividend of 15 francs per share, the legal maximum. It will also make a maximum payout of 6 billion francs to the Swiss government and regional authorities under a new agreement signed last year.

The SNB will release final profit figures in March.

It gave no details of its fourth-quarter performance, where the appreciation of the Swiss franc likely reduced the valuation gains from its foreign currency investments.

The franc rose against both the euro and dollar between October and December, hitting its highest level against the common currency since mid-2015.

This currency movement will have reduced gains from higher stock values when translated back to francs.

Still, UBS economist Alessandro Bee reckoned the SNB's share portfolio gains more than compensated for the higher value of the franc.

Bee estimated the central bank made a valuation gain of roughly 35 billion francs in 2021 from its stock market holdings, which includes stakes in Starbucks, Apple and other U.S. tech giants.

($1 = 0.9212 Swiss francs)

(Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Riham Alkousaa and Michael Shields)

© Reuters 2022
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / SWISS FRANC (AUD/CHF) -0.69% 0.68229 Delayed Quote.5.40%
BRITISH POUND / SWISS FRANC (GBP/CHF) -0.81% 1.20907 Delayed Quote.0.50%
CANADIAN DOLLAR / SWISS FRANC (CAD/CHF) -0.92% 0.75894 Delayed Quote.7.52%
CHINESE YUAN RENMINBI / SWISS FRANC (CNY/CHF) -1.12% 0.144659 Delayed Quote.2.73%
DANISH KRONE / SWISS FRANC (DKK/CHF) -0.82% 13.728 Delayed Quote.0.93%
EURO / SWISS FRANC (EUR/CHF) -0.82% 1.02547 Delayed Quote.1.06%
HONGKONG-DOLLAR / SWISS FRANC (HKD/CHF) -1.41% 12.4 Delayed Quote.8.13%
INDIAN RUPEE / SWISS FRANC (INR/CHF) -0.95% 0.012577 Delayed Quote.4.75%
JAPANESE YEN / SWISS FRANC (JPY/CHF) -0.88% 0.7646 Delayed Quote.-3.24%
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR / SWISS FRANC (NZD/CHF) -0.10% 0.62064 Delayed Quote.1.24%
RUSSIAN ROUBLE / SWISS FRANC (RUB/CHF) 2.16% 0.015731 Delayed Quote.24.45%
SCHWEIZERISCHE NATIONALBANK -1.41% 6980 Delayed Quote.35.11%
SINGAPORE-DOLLAR / SWISS FRANC (SGD/CHF) -0.83% 0.7034 Delayed Quote.6.18%
SWEDISH KRONA / SWISS FRANC (SEK/CHF) -0.61% 0.097823 Delayed Quote.-0.63%
US DOLLAR / SWISS FRANC (USD/CHF) -1.43% 0.97328 Delayed Quote.8.93%
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EV / Sales -1
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Managers and Directors
Thomas Jakob Ulrich Jordan Chairman-Governing Board
Barbara Janom Steiner Chairman-Bank Council
Philippe Landucci Director-Information Technology
Sébastien Kraenzlin Director-Banking Operations
Sabine Wey Assistant Director-Compliance