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Credit Suisse offers juicy premium to entice investors to new bond

2023 01 05T125823Z 1 LYNXMPEJ040ES RTROPTP 4 CREDIT SUISSE MOVES - Global Banking | Finance

By Chiara Elisei

(Reuters) -Credit Suisse on Thursday sold a 500 million pound ($595 million) senior unsecured bond maturing in March 2026, according to a lead memo seen by Reuters, in the embattled bank’s latest bid to lure in investors with a juicy premium.

The new note, which was sold by the Swiss bank’s operating company, had a coupon of 7.75%. The final spread was set at 425 basis points (bps) over Britain’s 0.125% 2026 gilt or government bond, from an earlier price indication in the 435 bps area.

“The final size was a good result, considering all Credit Suisse is going through – but not an overwhelming one,” said Joost Beaumont, head of bank research at ABN AMRO.

The embattled Swiss lender is not new to having to pay up to entice investors as it undergoes a restructuring and tries to shake off a string of scandals and heavy losses.

On Wednesday, the bank also sold two U.S. dollar-denominated notes, a $1.25 billion two-year bond, with a 7.95% coupon and an 8.06% yield, and a $2.5 billion dollar five-year bond with a 7.50% coupon and a 7.551% yield.

And in November it offered a record 9.016% coupon on a $2 billion bond and a 7.75% coupon on a 3 billion euros ($ 1.06bn) bond.

Thursday’s sterling-denominated bond deal attracted orders of more than 875 million pounds. The bank had planned to issue a benchmark-sized bond, meaning at least 250-300 million pounds.

One investor said the bond was expensive, noting that it had a new issue premium of 50 bps compared with a premium of 10-15 bps on other senior bonds sold by banks in recent days.


This week has seen a flurry of bank debt sales as the sector tries to take advantage of good market conditions before earnings season kicks off.

On Tuesday, for instance, Dutch bank ABN Amro sold a total 2 billion euros worth of bonds, while on Thursday the French lender Societe Generale sold 2 billion euros worth of notes.

However, investors also wondered whether some banks were rushing to sell debt before markets take a bad turn.

“The question is – why are banks pushing deals so quickly? Is it because they predict more volatility ahead?” said Johnathan Owen, portfolio manager at TwentyFour Asset Management.

While market conditions are supportive, with the latest data showing inflation pressures easing in the euro zone, investors remain cautious, waiting for more data points and bracing for a challenging first half of the year, he added.

($1 = 0.8322 pounds)

(Reporting by Chiara Elisei; editing by Dhara Ranasinghe and Paul Simao)

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