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Private Bank Sal Oppenheim Suffered Loss In 2008

Tom Burroughes, Editor, London, 29 April 2009

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Luxembourg-based private bank Sal Oppenheim suffered a net loss of €117 million ($152.5 million) in 2008, reversing a net income of €225 million in the previous year as the firm was hit by the impact of market turmoil.

Market falls in nearly all asset classes hit Sal Oppenheim’s business in 2008, it said in a statement.

“The first few months of this year have already shown that we are on track – we closed the first quarter with a positive result,” concluded  Friedrich Carl Janssen, a partner at Sal Oppenheim.

Net interest income amounted to €344 million; the €95 million increase over the previous year was largely due to the rise in the average interest on client loans. Provision for loan losses amounted to just €1 million. Net commission income was below the prior-year figure at €573 million.

Sal Oppenheim’s annual average number of employees in 2008 was 4,330 (3,769 in 2007). Sal Oppenheim hired a total of 250 new employees in the first half of 2008. Administrative expenses fell to €906 million.

Assets under management amounted to €132 billion at the end of 2008. The investment companies reported encouraging inflows, although these did not quite compensate for the losses sustained on the financial markets, the statement said.

The firm continued to expand last year: at the start of 2008, it bought the domiciliation business of Mercuria Services SA in Luxembourg. It also opened a representative office in Warsaw and new branch offices in Budapest and Lugano.

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