Will UBS Sue Nasdaq for Millions Lost on Facebook?
UBS (NYSE:UBS) may have lost as much as $350 million due to Nasdaq’s technical glitches during Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) public trading debut, and the Swiss bank is reportedly considering legal action against the stock exchange.
UBS spokeswoman Karina Byrne confirmed that the bank lost money due to Nasdaq’s technical issues. “Given the size of our U.S. equities business and our role as a major market maker, UBS was affected by these issues, as we believe other market participants may have been,” Byrne said in a statement. “We are continuing to consider avenues to recover our losses in this matter, but have not yet taken legal action.”
Facebook’s opening on May 18 was delayed by half an hour before technical problems prevented several investors from buying and selling shares, or even finding out whether their orders had gone through. Investors said later they were left with shares they didn’t want.
If the figure is true, it completely changes the scale of total losses coming from the social network’s first day of trading. The Nasdaq OMX Group (NASDAQ:NDAQ) announced last week it was earmarking $40 million in cash and credit to reimburse investment firms, while earlier estimates had suggested losses may have totaled about $115 million. Other market makers, including Knight Capital Group (NYSE:KCG), Citigroup (NYSE:C), and Citadel Securities also lost significant amounts.
According to the Wall Street Journal, UBS placed an order for 1 million shares but did not receive confirmations for a period, leading the firm to repeat the order several times and eventually ending up with more stock than it intended.
Facebook’s stock launched at $38, closed the first day at $38.23, and has proceeded to go downhill since then.