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Julius Baer boosts H1 net profit by 23%

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FILE PHOTO: Logo is seen at the headquarters of Swiss private bank Julius Baer in Zurich
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ZURICH (Reuters) -Julius Baer on Wednesday posted a 23.4% rise in half-year net profit to 606.0 million Swiss francs ($657.9 million), as strong markets and continued client inflows helped the Zurich-based wealth manager grow business.

"Following a record-high net profit in the first half of the year, we are entering the second half from a position of strength," Chief Executive Philipp Rickenbacher said in a statement.

Wealth and asset managers have continued to benefit from soaring stock markets and continued client activity.

Larger rival UBS on Tuesday posted a 63% jump in second-quarter net profit, easily beating expectations as buoyant markets continued to help the world's largest wealth manager generate higher earnings from managing money for the rich.

In May, Zurich-based Baer posted an 8% rise in assets under management for the first four months of 2021 to 470 billion Swiss francs, as well as continued client inflows.

That momentum ramped up in the final two months of the half-year, raising the bank's managed assets by 12% from end-2020 to 486 billion Swiss francs and net new money to 10 billion francs for the six months through June.

Baer reported an adjusted cost/income ratio of 61.2%, higher than the 60% posted through April but still well ahead of the target it had previously set for 67% by 2022.

It also said it was acquiring an 83% stake in Zurich-based real estate service provider Kuoni Mueller & Partner as part of a push to extend its real estate offering.

($1 = 0.9211 Swiss francs)

(Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi, editing by Kirsti Knolle and John Revill)

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