Page last updated at 07:22 GMT, Thursday, 22 May 2008 08:22 UK

UBS launches $15.5bn cash call

UBS office logo
UBS has been the worst-hit bank in Europe from the US mortgage crisis

The Swiss bank UBS, which has been among the worst hit by the credit crunch, has launched its rights issue.

It is raising 16bn Swiss francs ($15.5bn; 8bn) by offering seven new shares for every 20 shares held at a price of 21 francs.

The price is about a third below its current market value and 73% below its peak level, set less than a year ago.

It is the latest move by UBS to raise new money to cover its $37bn writedowns on assets linked to US mortgage debt.

On Wednesday, UBS finalised a $15bn deal to sell discounted mortgage-related assets to the US fund manager Blackrock.

It has also received cash injections from investors in Singapore and the Middle East.

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