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Qatar doubles Credit Suisse stake


The logo of Credit Suisse Group in Davos, Switzerland, on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023.

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The Qatar Investment Authority is the second-largest shareholder in Credit Suisse after doubling its stake in the embattled Swiss lender late last year, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The QIA — Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund — initially began investing in Credit Suisse around the time of the financial crisis. Now, it owns 6.8% of the bank’s shares, according to the filing Friday, second only to the 9.9% stake purchased by the Saudi National Bank last year as part of a $4.2 billion capital raise to fund a massive strategic overhaul.

Combined with the 3.15% owned by Saudi-based family firm Olayan Financing Company, around a fifth of the company’s stock is now owned by Middle Eastern investors, Eikon data indicates.

Credit Suisse will report its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings on Feb. 9, and has already projected a 1.5 billion Swiss franc ($1.6 billion) loss for the fourth quarter as a result of the ongoing restructuring. The shake-up is designed to address persistent underperformance in the investment bank and a series of risk and compliance failures.

CEO Ulrich Koerner told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week that the bank is making progress on the transformation and has seen a notable reduction in client outflows.

Credit Suisse making really good progress, says CEO

The injection of investment from the Middle East comes as major U.S. investors Harris Associates and Artisan Partners sell down their shares in Credit Suisse. Harris remains the third-largest shareholder at 5%, but has cut its stake significantly over the past year, while Artisan has sold its position entirely.

‘Final pivot’

Swiss pension fund foundation CEO says he's 'not convinced' by Credit Suisse restructure

“While strategically largely the right measures have been announced in our view, the execution of the group’s transformation requires time to lower costs, regain operational momentum as well as reduce complexity funding costs. Hence, we expect subdued profitability, below its potential, even by 2025,” said Benjamin Goy, head of European financials research at Deutsche Bank.

As such, he said that Credit Suisse’s valuation was “not cheap based on earnings anytime soon.”

‘More art than science’

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