| 11 December 2023, Monday |

Credit Suisse shares and bonds hit by further market shake-out

The market’s opposition to Credit Suisse’s $2.4 billion fundraising effort to help pay for a significant makeover grew on Wednesday as the cost of insurance exposure to its debt reached a record high and the bank’s shares and bonds declined.

The rights issue is a part of a larger capital raising effort by the Swiss bank worth 4 billion francs, which received shareholder approval last week. The capital raising is intended to assist Credit Suisse recover from the worst crisis in its 166-year history.

Five-year credit default swaps on Credit Suisse, the cost of insuring against a default on its debt by the Swiss bank, rose to around 446 basis points (bps) from 409 bps at the open, S&P Global Market Intelligence data showed.

This level compares with 57 bps at the start of the year and is not far off levels for Italian bailed-out bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena at 466 bps.

CDS for other European lenders such as Commerzbank, Santander or Swiss peer UBS are between 69-81 bps.

After opening higher, Credit Suisse’s shares tumbled 2% to a new record low, marking their ninth straight session in the red. The stock has lost more than 66% since the start of the year.

Credit Suisse rights for its 2.24 billion Swiss francs ($2.4 billion) share issue were down 8%, having reversed initial gains. This came on top of a 30% tumble on Tuesday.

Holders of the rights to subscribe to new shares have time until 8 December to exercise them but investor response has been so far lukewarm.

Credit Suisse bonds also weakened, with additional tier 1 dollar bonds down over 4 cents and many sinking below the levels seen during a sell off in the bank’s shares and bonds in early October, Tradeweb data showed.

Switzerland’s second-largest bank last week flagged that it was on course for a pre-tax loss of up to 1.5 billion Swiss francs in the fourth quarter, and revealed that wealthy clients had made hefty withdrawals.

Credit Suisse this month started a recovery plan after being battered by a slew of scandals and growing losses.

Bond prices slightly recovered after the strategic review was published, but Beaumont said the situation remained challenging because there were concerns about how the strategic review was carried out.

The parent company of Credit Suisse also saw a decline in the euro-denominated bond it had issued in the middle of November at a record 7.75% rate. It is priced at 98.5 cents, which is below par, indicating that investors need a discount to purchase the bond.

On November 22, the bond’s price reached a high of 103 cents.

  • Reuters