SNB Posts $30 Billion First-Quarter Profit on Stock Rally
The Swiss National Bank recorded a profit of 30.7 billion francs ($30.1 billion) at the start of the year, reaping the rewards of the recent stock market rally.
Shares comprise about a fifth of the central bank’s foreign currency portfolio. Strong gains in equities in the first quarter contributed 17.4 billion francs to the central bank’s quarterly result, which also got a boost from bond prices and gold.
The SNB is a joint-stock company, with both public-sector and private shareholders, and its earnings are calculated by comparing asset prices at the start and end of each period. It’s therefore at risk of big swings in profitability and interim earnings statements have little bearing on its result for the full year.
Along with occasional currency market interventions, the SNB has a deposit rate of minus 0.75 percent in force to tame the strong franc. Its Swiss franc positions generated 0.6 billion francs in income during the quarter, chiefly the result of the negative interest rate on sight deposit accounts.
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