Credit Suisse shares rise 3.2% on reports of Qatar investment
February 18 2008
ZURICH – Shares in Credit Suisse Group rose 3.2% Monday after reports that Qatar is buying a stake in the Swiss bank.
The Qatar Investment Authority and the Swiss bank both declined to comment on the reports that the country’s sovereign wealth fund has quietly accumulated less than 3% of Credit Suisse’s shares, staying within the limit for undisclosed stakes.
The bank’s shares closed at CHF56.75 in Zurich.
Dow Jones Newswires said banking sources considered the purchase as part of Qatar’s reported strategy to acquire some US$15 billion in western banking stocks this year.
Credit Suisse last week announced a CHF2.07 billion writedown for subprime-related assets, but still posted a fourth-quarter net profit of CHF1.33.
Rival UBS AG, the largest Swiss bank, has been hit much harder. UBS posted a loss of more than US$11 billion for the fourth quarter and its first full-year net loss in a decade after writing down CHF15.6 billion in the mortgage-related investments.
UBS has sought CHF13 billion francsin new capital from Singapore’s government fund and from an unidentified Middle East investor.
Sovereign wealth funds from oil-rich Middle Eastern countries have bought stakes in large banks such as Citigroup and Merrill Lynch shaken by the subprime mortgage crises in the United States.
[Copyright ap 2008]