Credit Suisse reduces write-downs

Tue, Feb 12, 2008, 00:00

Credit Suisse reduced write-downs from the subprime crisis today and raked in billions of new investments from wealthy clients.

Credit Suisse unveiled 1.259 billion francs in write-downs on various exposures in the fourth quarter, confirming it has escaped almost unscathed from the debacle in US subprime mortgages.

The bank said it was proposing an increased cash dividend of 2.50 francs per share for 2007.

The bank also reported a 49 per cent fall in fourth-quarter net profit to 1.33 billion Swiss francs ($1.21 billion). It reduced full-year charges for bad credits to two billion francs from a previously reported 2.2 billion, due to hedging earlier in the year.

The bank's key investment banking division reported a steep fall in net income to 328 million francs in the final quarter.

Net new money in wealth management was far better than expected at 12 billion Swiss francs, up from 8.6 billion francs in the fourth quarter of 2006.

The bank also reported a steep decline in its funded and unfunded exposures to leveraged finance to 36 billion francs from 58.6 billion francs.

Bank UBS, Credit Suisse's chief rival, has taken charges of $18.4 billion so far on subprime exposures, and Citigroup and Merrill Lynch have also taken huge charges.