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Nasdaq's bungling of Facebook IPO cost UBS $357 million, bank says

July 31, 2012|By Andrew Tangel
  • UBS says it was stung by a $357-million loss related to Nasdaq's bungling of Facebook's IPO.
UBS says it was stung by a $357-million loss related to Nasdaq's bungling… (Alessandro Della Bella…)

The cost of Nasdaq's bungling of the Facebook IPO has shot up $357 million.

Swiss banking giant UBS says it lost that much from the stock exchange's "gross mishandling" of the May 18 initial public offering, the largest ever for a U.S. technology company.

In a sharply worded statement, UBS said it ultimately purchased "far more shares than our clients had ordered" because Nasdaq's trading system failed to confirm UBS traders' orders.

"UBS's loss resulted from Nasdaq's multiple failures to carry out its obligations, including both opening the Facebook stock for trading and not halting trading in the stock during the day," UBS said. "We will take appropriate legal action against Nasdaq to address its gross mishandling of the offering and its substantial failures to perform its duties."

UBS said it would seek full compensation for its losses, which dwarf the $62 million Nasdaq has said it plans to offer as compensation for the Facebook mess.

Nasdaq's glitches had earlier been estimated to have cost brokerages more than $100 million. Knight Capital Group, a major Wall Street brokerage based in Jersey City, N.J., has said it alone lost as much as $35 million.

Those sums do not include investor lawsuits and potential regulatory penalties from investigations launched in the wake of the Facebook IPO mess.

Not to mention investor losses on their investment so far. Facebook shares have languished far below their IPO price of $38.

In early trading on Wall Street Tuesday, Facebook stock lost 84 cents, or 3.6%, to $22.31 a share.

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