Credit Suisse considers stock sale over Swiss IPO: sources

Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:28am EDT
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By John O'Donnell, Pamela Barbaglia and Joshua Franklin

FRANKFURT/LONDON/ZURICH (Reuters) - Credit Suisse (CSGN.S: Quote) is considering a quickfire share sale rather than pursuing a separate listing for its Swiss banking division, two sources close to the matter told Reuters, in a move that could raise 3 billion Swiss francs ($3.03 billion).

Keen to shore up its balance sheet, Swizterland's second-biggest bank had announced plans in 2015 to sell 20-30 percent of its highly profitable Swiss business through an initial public offering (IPO) for up to 4 billion francs.

However, Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam said last month that the bank was examining alternatives to the IPO, which had been penciled in for the second half of this year.

"They need more capital," said one of the sources. "They realize they can do this without an IPO."

The likelihood of the IPO going ahead is now low, but the team behind it is continuing work on the project because there has not yet been an official decision, the second source said, adding that a rights issue is another option.

Reuters reported on Friday that the bank's board of directors will decide in April whether to proceed with the IPO.

Credit Suisse declined to comment on Thursday.

The bank's shares fell more than 3 percent by 1430 GMT (10:30 a.m. ET), the biggest decliner in the Stoxx European banking index .   Continued...

Credit Suisse logo is pictured on their office in Warsaw Poland, March 15, 2017. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel