Credit Suisse’s top shareholder Harris discloses 10% stake

Published Thu, Aug 11, 2022 · 02:37 PM

HARRIS Associates disclosed a stake in Credit Suisse Group of more than 10 per cent after converting some of its holdings into American depositary receipts, underscoring its place as the bank’s biggest shareholder. 

The investment firm owned 266 million shares, or 10.1 per cent of the total, as at Jul 31, Harris Associates said in a US regulatory filing on Wednesday (Aug 10). The Swiss bank’s annual reports have long listed the firm with a 5.2 per cent stake, which was the level it disclosed in 2013.

“We have consistently owned just under 10 per cent,” David Herro, chief investment officer for international equities at Harris, said in an emailed statement. “There have been no major changes in our ownership.” He said the firm converted some of its shares to ADRs and was obliged to report the stake as a result. 

Harris has stuck by Credit Suisse despite a rough run for the bank’s stock. The shares are down 78 per cent since the 2013 disclosure, more than double the decline for a broader index of European banks, as the Swiss firm has shuffled through 4 chief executive officers and dealt with a number of scandals. The stock hit a record low last month and is still trading near that level.

Herro has been a vocal shareholder in recent years. He was critical of former chairman Urs Rohner, who left last year, but gave his backing to former CEO Thomas Gottstein before he was replaced last month.

While Harris said in the filing it had sole power to dispose of the whole stake, it only had sole voting power on about 70 per cent of it.

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Qatar Investment Authority owned 5 per cent of Credit Suisse as at Nov 17, 2021, the second-biggest holding listed in the bank’s annual report. BLOOMBERG

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