Credit Suisse said yesterday it had launched a share issue aimed at raising some $4 billion to allay capital fears, and backtracked on plans to take part of its Swiss division public.
Switzerland's second largest bank also said it had bounced back to black in the first quarter, posting a net profit for the first three months of the year of 596 million Swiss francs ($599 million, 549 million euros), compared with a 302-million-franc loss a year earlier. Credit Suisse in a statement that the share issue should provide it with more flexibility in carrying out its ongoing restructuring plans, bolster its capital ratios and protect it against unexpected market volatility.
Following the share issue, which will be voted on at an extraordinary general meeting on May 18, Credit Suisse estimates its tier-one CET capital ratio - an important gauge of a bank's ability to resist a financial crisis - will rise to 13.4 percent from 11.7 percent currently.
The bank already approved a capital hike of $6 billion back in the autumn of 2015 to allow its new chief Tidjane Thiam to embark upon a wide-reaching restructuring plan, pivoting its focus towards wealth management and Asia. Investors appeared to welcome the shift announced yesterday, with Credit Suisse's share price jumping more than three percent to 15.76 Swiss francs apiece in mid-morning trading, as the Swiss stock exchange's main SMI index remained flat.