Arab News, Wednesday, Jan 25, 2023 | Rajab 3, 1444
Qatar Investment Authority raises stake in Credit Suisse to just under 7%
Qatar's sovereign wealth fund has increased
its stake in Credit Suisse to just under 7 percent, becoming the Swiss bank's
second-largest shareholder after Saudi National Bank, in a sign that its Gulf
investor base is growing in importance.
The Qatar Investment Authority bought 139.03
million shares in the Swiss lender, Refinitiv data shows based on a filing on
Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission which quoted its most recent
ownership holding as of Dec. 31, 2022.
The new shares bring the QIA's ownership in Credit
Suisse to 6.87 percent, amounting to 272.25 million shares, from 5.57 percent as
reported in its last SEC filing in November.
Credit Suisse declined to comment when contacted
by Reuters on Monday and the QIA did not immediately respond to a request for
Credit Suisse's shares rose 2.2 percent on Monday
to close at 3.15 Swiss francs.
US investment firm Harris Associates, one of
Credit Suisse's largest shareholders, shed its holding to about 5 percent,
according to regulatory filings on Jan. 11 from a stake of about 10 percent in
the bank last August.
Saudi National Bank owns a stake worth about 10
percent in the Swiss lender bank after it became an anchor investor in Credit
Suisse's $4.3 billion capital raise which began in October to fund the bank's
revamp and restructuring. Saudi Arabian conglomerate Olayan Group owns a stake
of about 3 percent, Eikon data shows. SNB, along with the QIA and Olayan Group,
account for about 20 percent of Credit Suisse shares.
Credit Suisse outlined plans in October to raise 4
billion Swiss francs from investors, cut thousands of jobs and shift its focus
from investment banking toward its rich clients.
The announcement followed a difficult few weeks
when the one-time respected Swiss institution had even become a 'meme stock' at
the center of a social media storm.
Once a symbol of Swiss reliability, the bank's
reputation has been tarnished by a series of scandals, including an
unprecedented prosecution at home involving laundering money for a criminal
In 2021, the bank took a $5.5 billion loss from
the unraveling of US investment firm Archegos and had to freeze $10 billion
worth of supply chain finance funds linked to insolvent British financier
Greensill, highlighting risk-management failings.