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Credit Suisse CEO says considering options to plug capital hole

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 10:16

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Credit Suisse Group AG, Switzerland's second-largest lender, is considering various options to plug a capital hole of as much as four billion francs (S$5.657 billion), chief executive officer Tidjane Thiam said.

[ZURICH] Credit Suisse Group AG, Switzerland's second-largest lender, is considering various options to plug a capital hole of as much as four billion francs (S$5.657 billion), chief executive officer Tidjane Thiam said.

Progress made by the Zurich-based bank in recent months means the firm can now consider alternatives to a longstanding plan to list part of its Swiss unit, Mr Thiam said in an interview with Bloomberg TV's Yvonne Man on Tuesday. The firm isn't talking to investment banks about its capital raising plans, he said, declining to provide specifics.

"We know the market wants an answer, we know the market needs an answer, we're working diligently and we will give a very clear answer in due course," Mr Thiam said on the sidelines of his firm's annual Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong.

"It is a complex decision, which is why we're taking our time to make it."

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Credit Suisse is in the second year of a turnaround plan that's been hampered by market turmoil, surprise trading losses and legacy issues.

The bank is considering selling stock valued at more than three billion francs as an alternative to its longstanding plan to raise capital by listing part of its Swiss unit, people with knowledge of the matter said last week. It's even discussed raising as much as five billion francs, they said.

After tapping shareholders for six billion francs when the overhaul began in late 2015, Credit Suisse said it would seek to address further capital needs through the Swiss unit listing.

A smaller-than-expected hit to buffers from a legal settlement over toxic mortgage securities in December has given the firm more options. Credit Suisse in recent weeks signaled to the market that the partial IPO is only an option among others to raise capital.

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