Albany Times Union

Credit Suisse-ubs deal offering hope

- By Kelvin Chan

LONDON — Credit Suisse shares plunged Monday after Swiss authoritie­s cut a deal with its bigger rival UBS to acquire the troubled bank at a markeddown price. But European bank stocks and the wider market gained as investors watch whether moves to shore up banks will stem further upheaval in the global financial system.

Shares of Credit Suisse, whose woes stem from questions over its internal controls, closed nearly 56 percent lower a day after UBS said it would buy its fellow Swiss bank for a lowball price of $3.25 billion.

The shares traded at about the level they are valued at in the deal.

Swiss regulators orchestrat­ed the purchase in a bid to stop more turmoil after the collapse of two U.S. banks. In an indication of the frantic, behind-thescenes deal-making to resolve the issue before markets opened, the acquisitio­n was announced late Sunday.

There is still uncertaint­y over how the deal will play out for the combined lender and what comes next for the wider banking system. Analysts say some previous forced bank mergers didn’t work out well for shareholde­rs in the long run.

It could be that no more banks get into trouble, but it’s also possible that “we just go from one weak institutio­n falling over to the next,” said Vicky Redwood, senior economic adviser at Capital Economics.

There no other obvious candidates that could be singled out like Credit Suisse, but it’s “hard to predict where the problems will emerge,” she said.

UBS shares initially dropped on the Swiss stock exchange but closed up 1.3 percent. The deal whipsawed other European bank stocks, which tumbled before some clawed back their losses. Germany’s Deutsche Bank, France’s BNP Paribas and Italy’s Unicredit ended higher, while London-based Barclays sank 2.3 percent.

Swiss authoritie­s urged UBS to take over its smaller rival after a central bank plan for Credit Suisse to borrow up to $54 billion last week failed to reassure investors and customers.

Many of Credit Suisse’s problems were unique and unlike the weaknesses that brought down Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in the U.S. Those U.S. failures have raised questions about other potentiall­y weak global financial institutio­ns, sweeping up the already beleaguere­d Swiss bank.

Credit Suisse has faced an array of troubles in recent years, including bad bets on hedge funds, repeated shake-ups of its top management and a spying scandal involving UBS.

Analysts and financial leaders say safeguards are stronger since the 2008 global financial crisis and that banks worldwide have plenty of available cash and support from central banks. But concerns about risks to the deal, losses for some investors and Credit Suisse’s falling market value could renew fears about the health of banks.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States