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Credit Suisse sees tough markets ahead after Q1 loss

Zurich-based Credit Suisse posted a 302 million Swiss franc ($311 million) loss for the first three months of 2016, as Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam pursued a painful restructuring.

By: Reuters | Zurich | Published: May 10, 2016 12:59:33 pm
The overhang of stressed loans, which Credit Suisse reckons at around 17 per cent of their total outstanding loans, has made Indian banks reluctant to make further project loans. Zurich-based Credit Suisse posted a 302 million Swiss franc (1 million) loss for the first three months of 2016, as Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam pursued a painful restructuring.

Credit Suisse sees tough market conditions continuing at least through the second quarter, the Swiss bank said on Tuesday after kicking off 2016 with its first loss since 2008.

Zurich-based Credit Suisse posted a 302 million Swiss franc ($311 million) loss for the first three months of 2016, as Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam pursued a painful restructuring.

This was above the average forecast in a Reuters poll of nine analysts for a 424 million franc loss, following Thiam’s earlier warnings that 2016 will be a tough year for the bank.

“While we saw tentative signs of a pick-up in activity in March and then in April, subdued market conditions and low levels of client activity are likely to persist in the second quarter of 2016 and possibly beyond,” Thiam, who took over in July and outlined his blueprint for Switzerland’s second-biggest bank on Oct. 21, said in a statement.

Thiam’s vision for more stable earnings through higher revenues in wealth management and less reliance on investment banking have received support from major investors.

He is also looking to cut costs by more than 3 billion francs by 2018 and to reduce the bank’s global headcount by 6,000.

However, tough markets have hampered his strategy and the bank’s share price has languished amid doubts about whether Credit Suisse will achieve 2018 profit targets as well as concerns over its capital position.

Thiam, 53, had flagged that the bank would likely post an unadjusted loss for the first quarter and that it expects the restructuring to cost 1 billion francs in 2016.

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