Morning in brief: UBS posts 54% profit drop, Bolivia nationalises foreign electricity firm

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An accounting charge causes first-quarter profits at UBS to fall by more than half, while Etihad buys a stake in Aer Lingus as the airline expands its European presence.

Stocks around the globe pick up momentum as improving manufacturing numbers from the US and China boost confidence in global growth, according to the Financial Times.

Swiss bank UBS posts a 54% fall in first-quarter profits to SFr 827m (£561.6m) after paying out a SFr 1.16 billion accounting charge related to its own debt, Reuters reports. The group also suggested business conditions will remain challenging in the second quarter.

Abu Dhabi’s flagship airline Etihad buys a 3% stake in Irish carrier Aer Lingus in a deal worth about €15m (£12m), the Independent says. The Middle Eastern company has invested in European routes recently and raised its take in Air Berlin to nearly 30% in December.

Bolivian president Evo Morales orders the military to take over Transportadora de Electricidad – a subsidiary of Spanish power company REE – “in honour of all Bolivian people who have struggled to recuperate our natural resources and basic services”, the BBC reports.

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