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Credit Suisse rights sell-off spells worst year for its shares

Credit Suisse shares slid below 3 Swiss francs on Tuesday as investors dumped rights to subscribe to new shares in a cash call aimed at raising $2.3 billion for the loss-making bank.

The offering, part of a broader capital raise worth 4 billion francs which won shareholder approval last week, is intended to help fund Credit Suisse’s attempt to recover from the biggest crisis in its 166-year history.

Shares in Credit Suisse fell 3.1% to 2.915 francs by 1451 GMT, their lowest level on record according to Refinitiv data, as the rights tumbled as much as 29.9% to as low as 0.101 on their second day of trading in Zurich.

That took losses for Credit Suisse shares in 2022 to more than 65%, further shrinking its market value to 12 billion francs and firmly setting the stock for its biggest yearly drop. At its peak in 2007 the bank was worth around ten times more.

Investors fear the recapitalisation might not be enough to stabilise the bank, which said last week it could book a pre-tax loss of up to 1.5 billion francs in the fourth quarter, and revealed that wealthy clients had made hefty withdrawals.

That had led to a big drop in liquidity, breaching some regulatory limits.

“The problem now for Credit Suisse is to plug the outflows of staff and client assets: the damage is done and there will be an impact for sure,” said Angelo Meda, head of equities and portfolio manager at Banor SIM in Milan.

“I believe though the bank will be stabilised and this reassures on bonds and solvency, but on the stock it is hard to tell when the outflows will end,” he added.

The offering, which is guaranteed by a group of banks, will raise as much as 2.24 billion Swiss francs ($2.3 billion) and follows a 1.76 billion-franc share placement where Saudi National Bank took a 9.9% shareholding in Credit Suisse.

Rightholders in Switzerland’s second-biggest bank have the option to purchase two new shares at 2.52 francs each for every 7 rights they hold by December 8.

Credit Suisse’s five-year credit default swaps (CDS), a form of insurance for bondholders, blew out to a new record high of 403 basis points on Tuesday, according to data from S&P Market Intelligence. CDS prices have soared nearly 8-fold this year.

Its bonds also came under pressure, with additional Tier 1 dollar-denominated issues down nearly 1 cent on the dollar, hitting the lowest levels since their October tumble, with some bonds trading just over half their face value, Tradeweb data showed.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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