ZURICH: Credit Suisse’s board of directors is set to decide in April whether to go ahead with a partial initial public offering of its Swiss bank, two people familiar with the matter said, with alternative options being considered.
Zurich-based Credit Suisse announced plans to sell 20-30 percent of its highly profitable Swiss business back in October 2015, partly in an effort to raise up to 4 billion Swiss francs ($4 billion) and bolster the group’s capital position.
However, group Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam cast doubt on the project last month when he said Credit Suisse was open to alternative options to strengthen the group’s balance sheet “if there are ways to reach a more attractive risk/reward outcome for our shareholders”.
No final decision has yet been made on whether or not go ahead with the IPO, the people said. Credit Suisse has penciled in the IPO for the second half of this year, market conditions permitting and subject to board approval.
A Credit Suisse spokesman said the bank has nothing to add to what was said last month and it does not comment on market speculation.
Credit Suisse staff, one of the people said, are continuing to prepare for the IPO, which could be Switzerland’s biggest stock market listing in more than a decade if it goes ahead.
However, there is a growing sense inside the bank and among investment bankers hoping to work on the listing that the IPO will be canceled.
Investors have also raised concerns about selling a stake in such a profitable business.
David Herro, chief investment officer for international equities at Harris Associates, one of Credit Suisse’s biggest shareholders, said last month that the case for the IPO had become less convincing.