July 30, 2020 / 9:47 AM / 8 days ago

Credit Suisse's Asian business has highest level of credit provisions

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Credit Suisse Group AG’s (CSGN.S) Asia-Pacific business has the highest level of credit provisions for potential loan losses across each of the bank’s major divisions, according to its second-quarter accounts.

The Swiss-based bank made 81 million Swiss francs ($88.66 million) in provisions for credit losses in the Asia-Pacific in the second quarter, its results showed on Thursday, down 16% from 97 francs million in the first quarter.

Provisions in the second quarter referred to four individual potential bad-loan cases in the region, up from 3 in the first quarter, the financial statements showed.

With 81 million francs the Asia Pacific accounted for most of Credit Suisse’s loan loss provisions in the second quarter, ahead of 77 million francs for global markets and 67 million francs in investment banking and capital market business.

Credit Suisse did not identify any individual cases but a source with direct knowledge of the matter said it was setting aside cash to cover the credit losses linked to China-based coffee chain Luckin Coffee.

A Credit Suisse spokeswoman in Hong Kong declined to comment.

The fortunes of mainland China’s Luckin, which had been compared to U.S. coffeehouse Starbucks (SBUX.O), have nosedived since an investigation into fake annual sales of about $300 million was disclosed in April, with the Nasdaq suspending trading in its shares in June.

Credit Suisse was a lead bank when Luckin Coffee raised $561 million in its U.S. IPO last year. It was also part of a syndicate that lent Luckin’s former chairman, Charles Zhengyao, Lu $518 million.

Credit Suisse said on Thursday it was wrapping its global markets and investment banking divisions into a single unit, as Chief Executive Thomas Gottstein puts his first major strategic stamp on the bank.

Reporting by Scott Murdoch in Hong Kong; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee

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