UBS Facebook IPO Losses ‘As High As $350m’

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UBS is considering legal action against Nasdaq following Facebook’s IPO, a report claims

UBS may have lost as much as $350 million in Facebook’s IPO, but Switzerland’s biggest bank says the impact was immaterial.

When Facebook went public last month, Nasdaq’s systems were overwhelmed, meaning some bidders did not receive confirmation of their order. When this happened to UBS, the bank repeatedly entered orders, thinking its bids had not been received, according to a report in CNBC, which cited people familiar with the matter.

Initial reports had put UBS’ losses at just $30 million. UBS is now looking at its options to recover the losses, but has not yet taken legal action.

Immaterial losses?

“Given the size of our US equity business and our role as a major market maker, UBS was affected by these issues, as we believe other market participants may have been,” UBS said.

“Consistent with our policy on market comments on our positions or intra-quarter performance, we are not disclosing the amount of the loss, which is not material to UBS.

“We are continuing to consider avenues to recover our losses in this matter, but have not yet taken legal action.”

However, sources said UBS was preparing a lawsuit against Nasdaq.

Nasdaq is believed to have plans in place for paying compensation, following the system failures at Facebook’s IPO. It is expected to offer discounted trading fees to clients who lost money due to the glitch. However, Nasdaq has only set aside  $13.7 million (£8.85m) to compensate for traders’ losses.

Facebook has had a troubled few weeks following the IPO. Whilst the value of Facebook’s shares have slumped, shareholders are suing CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the company itself and a number of banks for allegedly covering up weakened growth forecast prior to the IPO.

Lead underwriter of the IPO Morgan Stanley also came under fire for selective disclosure of important information that might have given an advantage to institutional investors.

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