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Controled bleeding or cauterisation? That was the unappealing choice facing UBS, a Swiss bank which has been badly hurt by the carnage in America’s mortgage market. The bank opted for the latter. First it opened the wound, by announcing a hefty $10 billion write-down on its exposure to subprime-infected debt. UBS now expects a loss for the fourth quarter, which ends this month. Then came the hot iron: news of a series of measures to shore up the bank’s capital base, among them investments from sovereign-wealth funds in Singapore and the Middle East. Bad news had been expected. UBS’s third-quarter write-down of over SFr4 billionin October looked overly optimistic compared with more aggressive markdowns at other banks such as Citigroup and Merrill Lynch. Steep falls in the market value of subprime debt since the end of the third quarter made it certain that UBS would take more pain, given its sizeable exposure to toxic collateralised-debt obligations . Analysts at Citigroup were predicting in November that write-downs of up to SFr14 billion were possible. Why then did this new batch of red ink still come as a shock? The answer lies not in the scale of the overall loss, more in UBS’s decision to take the hit in one go. The bank’s mark-to-model approach to valuing its subprime-related holdings had been based on payments data from the underlying mortgage loans. Although these data show a worsening in credit quality, the deterioration is slower than mark-to-market valuations, which have the effect of instantly crystallising all expected future losses. Thanks to this gradualist approach, UBS had been expected to take write-downs in managed increments of SFr2 billion-3 billion over a period of several quarters. It now appears that the bank has incorporated market values into its model, sending its fourth-quarter write-downs into orbit. The change of approach may be on the advice of auditors and regulators but it is more likely to reflect a desire by UBS’s bosses to avoid months of speculation about the bank’s exposure, something that Marcel Rohner, the chief executive, described as "distracting". In a particular indignity for a bank long associated with conservatism, concerns about the level of UBS’s capital ratio had even started to surface. Hence the moves to strengthen its tier-one capital, an important measure of bank solidity, by SFr19.4 billion, a great deal more than the write-down. The majority of that money will come from sovereign-wealth funds, the white knights of choice for today’s bank in distress. Singapore’s GIC, which manages the city-state’s foreign reserves, has pledged to buy SFr11 billion-worth of convertible bonds in UBS; an unnamed Middle Eastern investor will put in a further SFr2 billion. UBS will also raise money by selling treasury shares, and save cash by issuing its 2007 dividend in the form of shares. Its capital ratio is expected to end up above 12% in the fourth quarter, a strong position.The majority of that money will come from sovereign-wealth funds, the white knights of choice for today’s bank in distress. Hopeful talk of lines being drawn under the subprime crisis has been a feature of banks’ quarterly reporting since September. Marrying bigger-than-expected write-downs with bigger-than-expected boosts to capital looks like the right treatment in this environment. But UBS still cannot be sure that its problems are over. Further deterioration in its subprime asset values is possible; the broader economic impact of the credit crunch is unclear; and the damage to the bank’s reputation cannot yet be quantified. The patient still needs watching. 1.The author uses the metaphor “hot iron” to imply that ____. [A] those measures will do more harm to UBS. [B] those measures will cauterize UBS. [C] those measures will forcefully stop UBS from furthur loss. [D] those measures will control bleeding of UBS. 2.Compared with the mark-to-market valuations, the mark-to-model approach could ____. [A] slow down the worsening in credit qualtiy. [B] instantly crystallise all expected future loss. [C] worsen the credit quality. [D] accelerate the deterioration in credit quality. 3.The reason that Marcel Rohner thought the chang of approach was “distracting” is ____. [A] this change was unexpected to take place in such a situation. [B] this change was result of the advice of auditors and regulators. [C] this change was unfavorite to UBS. [D] this change was taken to make people dispel their guess. 4.The phrase “the white knights” most probably means ____. [A] rich people. [B] saviors. [C] generous people. [D] brave people. 5.The author’s attitude towards UBS’s future is ____. [A] optimistic [B] pessimistic [C] uncertain [D] none of the above

【篇章分析】 本篇文章介绍了UBS银行目前面临的困境以及其解决困境的一系列措施。第一段讲述UBS银行面对困境时作了强行止血的选择;第二段讲述UBS目前面临的不好的因素;第三段第四段分析了其估值的方式;第五段讲述UBS解决资金困难的一系列措施;第六段分析UBS面临的一些问题。 【难句突破】 Then came the hot iron: news of a series of measures to shore up the bank’s capital base, among them investments from sovereign-wealth funds in Singapore and the Middle East. [主体句式] Then came the hot iron. [结构分析] 这是一个有复杂同位语的一个简单句。news of …是前面the hot iron的同位语,to shore up the bank’s capital base是不定式短语作定语修饰前面的measures, 而后面among them …也是用来修饰measures,具体介绍其中的一些措施。 [句子译文]紧接着就来了hot iron :报道有一系列的措施来支持银行的资本基础,其中就有新加坡和中东的君主财富基金。 The change of approach may be on the advice of auditors and regulators but it is more likely to reflect a desire by UBS’s bosses to avoid months of speculation about the bank’s exposure, something that Marcel Rohner, the chief executive, described as "distracting". [主体句式] The change of approach may be… but … [结构分析] 这是一个并列句,but 引导的分句比较复杂,to avoide …不定式短语作前面a desire的定语,而something that…是a desire的同位语,该同位语有一个定语从句。 [句子译文] 方法改变可能是审计员或调节员建议的,但更反映了UBS高层的不愿数月都预计银行曝光的意愿,这个被首席执行官马赛尔Rohner形容为"发狂的"。 【参考译文】 有控制地流血还是灼伤?这是UBS,一家因美国抵押信贷市场受到重挫的瑞士银行所要面对的尴尬选择。而这家银行选择了后者,先是在公开subprime- infected债之际宣布高达100亿资产价值缩水,从而裸露出伤口。UBS目前预计第四季度也将亏损,本月就能见分晓。紧接着就来了hot iron:报道有一系列的措施来支持银行的资本基础,其中就有新加坡和中东的君主财富基金。 也应该会有些坏消息。UBS四分之三的资产价值缩水超过40亿瑞士法郎,这与其他银行(如Citigroup and Merrill Lynch)更为严重的状况相比而言还是较为乐观。第三季度末subprime debt市场价值的急剧下落使得UBS将会面临更多的苦痛,尤其是它相当大的一部分资产都受到抵押的影响。Citigroup分析师在11月预言可能会有140亿瑞士法郎的损失。 那么为什么这次新的一组赤字还是让人们大吃一惊呢?答案并不是因为总亏损的规模,而是UBS决定一次性地承担损失。银行估量其与subprime相关的股票所用的mark-to-model方法是基于第一担保抵押贷款的支付数据上的。尽管这些数据显示信用有所降低,但比起用mark-to-market的估量方式其恶化速度要慢一些,具有迅速明确所有未来损失的作用。 正是由于采取了这个缓和的方式,UBS可望在几个季度内资产账面价值增长控制在20到30亿瑞士法郎。目前显示出该银行已经将市场价值纳入其模式中,从而将第四季度的资产账面价值控制在一定范围内。方法改变可能是审计员或调节员建议的,但更反映了UBS高层要避免数月来对银行曝光的猜测,这个被首席执行官马赛尔Rohner形容为"转移注意力的"。 一个长期以保守见称的银行如今却受到这种侮辱,对于UBS的资金率的担心也就逐渐出现了。因此就采取措施加强了第一层资金约194亿瑞士法郎,该数额比资产账面损失要多许多,是增加银行信用的重要方法。资金大部分来源于君主资产基金,这是当今处于困境的银行的白衣骑士。新加坡GIC掌握着这个城市国家的外汇储备,它承诺要购买UBS110亿瑞士法郎的可转债。一个匿名的中东投资者又投入了20亿瑞士法郎。UBS也会售卖债券、以股票的形式发行2007的红利来募集现金。其资本率有望在第四季度达到12%多,这样处境就很不错了。 从九月份以来,银行每季度的报告会的一大特色就是讨论将额度控制在subprime风险之下。把比预期大的资产账面降低程度和比预期大的资本增加相结合好像是这种氛围下的一个正确处理方案。但是UBS还是不能确保问题都已解决。有可能出现subprime资产价值的继续恶化,而且信用创伤引起的更广阔范围内的经济冲击也不很明确,还有对公司名誉的损害程度也还没有确定。病情还有待观察。 【答案】CADBC

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