Credit Suisse Posts $1.1 Billion Profit

BY JULIA WERDIGIER

LONDON – Credit Suisse, one of Switzerland’s largest banks, said on Thursday that profit in the second quarter rose by a third, thanks to higher earnings at its investment banking operation.

Profit rose to 1.04 billion Swiss francs ($1.1 billion) in the three months ended June 30, from 788 million francs in the period a year earlier. That compares with a forecast of 1.017 billion francs by a group of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Credit Suisse joins Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street rivals in reporting improved results for the second quarter, helped by an increase in client activity in sales and trading and investment banking. Goldman said this month that its second-quarter earnings had doubled, beating analyst expectations.

Brady W. Dougan, Credit Suisse’s chief executive, has been cutting costs, but unlike its Swiss rival UBS, he has decided against scaling back some parts of the bank’s securities operation. Some analysts were concerned that the capital requirements imposed by new financial regulation would make it almost impossible for Credit Suisse’s investment bank to be successful.

But many investors have recently joined Mr. Dougan in seeing the bank’s good performance at the beginning of this year as a sign that its strategy was working.

“Our business model is performing well and we continue to make progress in reducing our cost base and balance sheet,” Mr. Dougan said in a statement. Credit Suisse said it was on track to achieve its aim to cut 4.4 billion francs in costs by the end of 2015.

Mr. Dougan has said that he expects the investment banking operation to increase its contribution to group earnings once markets recover. He is also betting that the private banking and wealth-management operations will bolster earnings once the global economic environment improves.

Uncertainty about interest rates and when central banks would exit their economic stimulus plans have led to “increased market volatility and reduced client activity,” Mr. Dougan said. But he added that “more recently we have seen signs of stabilization in our major markets.”

“In the longer term,” he said, “the transition to higher rates will benefit our business.”

The investment banking division reported that pretax profit rose to 754 million francs from 314 million francs in the second quarter of 2012. Revenue rose because of higher income from underwriting of share and bond sales, and greater activity in the bank’s equity and fixed-income sales and trading business.

Credit Suisse last year combined its money-managing units and bought Morgan Stanley’s wealth-management operations in Britain, Italy and Dubai. Greater collaboration among the bank’s units generated 1.2 billion francs of revenue in the second quarter, or about 17 percent of the group’s revenue, Credit Suisse said.

Pretax profit at the private banking and wealth management unit fell to 917 million francs from 977 million francs in the second quarter of 2012 because of low interest rates. Revenue at the unit remained unchanged, at 3.4 billion francs. The unit had 7.6 billion francs in net new assets in the second quarter.

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/07/25/credit-suisse-reports-2nd-quarter-profit-rise/

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