(Bloomberg) — Credit Suisse Group AG’s funding costs have become so high it either needs to raise more capital or face a breakup, Morningstar analyst Johann Scholtz said in a note on Wednesday.
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“We expect the 2023 losses to increase to such an extent that its capital adequacy could be under threat,” Scholz wrote in the note. “We believe Credit Suisse needs another rights issue.”
The alternative would be “a breakup” of the bank in which its various business lines such as the Swiss unit, asset manager and wealth management divisions could be “sold or listed separately.”
Credit Suisse has sufficient liquidity to handle the outflow of deposits and should also be able to get emergency liquidity from the Swiss National Bank by borrowing against its bond portfolio, Scholz wrote in the note. “However, this does not solve Credit Suisse’s profitability challenge, nor does it address capital concerns.”
Credit Suisse’s stock plunged as much as 30.8% on Wednesday to the lowest level on record, while some of its bonds dropped to levels that signal financial distress as the company’s top shareholder ruled out increasing its stake because of regulatory constraints. The plunge helped drag all European lenders lower as investors were quick to move away from banking risk after turmoil induced by the collapse of California-based Silicon Valley Bank.
The Swiss lender’s Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Koerner on Tuesday preached patience and said the bank’s financial position is sound while Chairman Axel Lehmann said Wednesday that government assistance “isn’t a topic.” He also said it wouldn’t be accurate to compare Credit Suisse’s efforts to return to profitability with the recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.
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