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Credit Suisse says quarterly profit up 23% on healthy trading

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Credit Suisse said first-quarter net profit rose 23 per cent after market volatility boosted securities trading and on gains at its private bank for wealthy clients.

[ZURICH] Credit Suisse said first-quarter net profit rose 23 per cent after market volatility boosted securities trading and on gains at its private bank for wealthy clients.

Zurich-based Credit Suisse, the first European investment bank to report quarterly earnings, said net profit stood at 1.054 billion Swiss francs (S$1.5 billion) from 859 million francs last year, beating the average estimate in a Reuters poll of analysts.

The resurgence in dealing revenues echoes a similar trend on Wall Street and comes weeks before Tidjane Thiam, currently head of British insurer Prudential, takes over as chief executive of the bank from company veteran Brady Dougan.

The CEO changeover has prompted speculation that the Swiss bank, which has already scaled back its investment banking division, mainly in fixed income, could cut the unit again to try to balance it more evenly with its private banking arm. "With new management comes the potential for a new strategy, and we expect regulatory change to play a major part in Thiam's thinking," Deutsche Bank analysts Matt Spick and Omar Keenan wrote in a note to investors earlier this month.

REUTERS