Who'd buy UBS?

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Whether or not UBS really does plan to sell its investment bank is a moot point. Who'd buy it if UBS were to sell is even more debatable.

In different circumstances, Barclays might be a possibility: its fixed income prowess would sit well alongside UBS's expertise in equities. However, with UBS's subprime woes still mounting and Barclays still operating at capital ratios below its peers, a big purchase looks unlikely.

Who else is in the running? And should UBS be looking to offload its investment bank in the first place?

At least one analyst thinks not: "There is no reason I can see why the investment bank would be better off somewhere else other than with UBS," says Matthew Clarke at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. "The problem is the reputational damage to the investment bank as inflicted in the short term."

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