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UBS Completes Distressed Debt Sale

BlackRock picks up $22 billion in subprime and Alt-A assets for $15 billion from the troubled Swiss bank.


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on early Wednesday said it had sold $15 billion in risky mortgage-related securities at a steep discount to a distressed asset fund managed by


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The positions, primarily subprime and Alt-A, had a nominal value of $22 billion, UBS said in a statement. The Zurich, Switzerland-based bank signaled the sale earlier this month when it reported a

first-quarter writedown

of $19.5 billion tied to U.S. real estate and structured credit.

"Risk reduction remains a critical part of our ongoing financial restructuring and this sale is a big step towards further reducing our positions in this asset class," UBS Group CEO Marcel Rohner said in a company statement. "We continue to manage our legacy risks in a flexible and creative way in the best interests of our shareholders."

BlackRock is 49%-owned by

Merrill Lynch

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, which along with


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has been one of the hardest hit U.S. banks in the credit crisis.

UBS' Swiss rival

Credit Suisse

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and Germany's

Deutsche Bank

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also have been hit hard by writedowns in the first quarter.

This article was written by a staff member of