Swiss private bank Pictet Group has registered a net profit of CHF265m for the first half of 2019.
This is a 17% decrease from last year’s figure of CHF321m.
The private bank’s operating income for the first six months of 2019 was CHF1.28bn, down from CHF1.35bn in the previous year and net interest income dipped 7% to CHF136m from CHF146m.
Operating results plummeted 19% to CHF338m from CHF418m. Operating expenses increased 2% year-on-year to CHF911m.
Notably, Pictet increased its number of full-time-equivalents during the period.
Its staff headcount at the end of June 2019 was 4,518, 160 more than a year ago. This included 100 hires in Switzerland and 60 hires abroad, specifically Asia, where the bank seeks to expand.
Speaking to the Financial Times yesterday, Pictet’s new senior partner Renaud de Planta said the bank is aiming to double its assets in Asia in the next decade.
Pictet is also “close” to submitting an application to open a unit in Shanghai, de Planta said.
Pictet Asset Management recently appointed Junjie Watkins as the CEO for Asia ex-Japan.
Last month, Tee Fong-Seng was appointed as the CEO of Pictet Wealth Management Asia, replacing Claude Haberer who became the chairman of the business.
Pictet assets under management rise
Assets under management or custody were CHF544bn as of 30 June 2019, a rise of 10% from CHF496bn at the end of December 2018.
The bank’s cost/income ratio was 74% at the end of June 2019, as against 69% a year earlier.
Its Basel III CET1 solvency ratio was 21.2% at the end of the first half of 2019.
de Planta said that negative interest rates and a defensive stance on the part of investors had an impact on results in the first half of the year.
“Nevertheless, we have continued to invest strongly in our people and technology during 2019.”