Britain's political leaders on Tuesday began a final push for votes ahead of this week's knife-edge election, even as they prepared for the likelihood of protracted coalition talks once polls close. Prime Minister David Cameron, whose Conservatives are neck and neck with the opposition Labour party in the opinion polls, kicked off a 36-hour tour of the country that will see him campaign through the night. He urged voters to give his party on Thursday a clear mandate to govern or risk years of "back-room deals" and "bribes" as Labour sought to form a government with the support of the smaller Scottish National Party (SNP). Both Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband -- who has put the state-run National Health Service (NHS) at the centre of the last two days of campaigning -- have insisted they are aiming for a parliamentary majority.
Switzerland's biggest bank UBS reported Tuesday an 88 percent surge in first quarter profits, despite a strong franc, outstripping analysts' forecasts. The results were far higher than the 1.1 billion Swiss francs forecast by analysts polled by Swiss financial agency AWS. Operating revenues, equal to turnover, climbed 22 percent to 8.8 billion Swiss francs, the bank said in a statement. The wealth management business posted an operating pre-tax profit of 951 million francs while the wealth management Americas division earned 253 million Swiss francs.