Credit Suisse trims 4Q loss, cites upside of U.S. tax reform

Credit Suisse chief executive Tidjane Thiam

Analysts and investors will look for evidence in the financial report of Credit Suisse that the restructuring plan continues to drive revenue growth, lower costs and improved risk management in the commercial departments.

Credit Suisse had flagged a 2.3 billion franc write-down for the year in December, after the USA rewrote tax law for corporations.

Credit Suisse shares rose 3.7 percent to 17.1 Swiss francs by 0935 GMT.

The logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse is seen at a branch in Winterthur, Switzerland November 2, 2017.

In the first six weeks of 2018, the bank had a 10 percent pickup in revenues in its Global Markets trading division and a 15 percent pickup in its Asia-Pacific trading business, as a surge in market turbulence saw activity levels rise.

But the meltdown of one of the bank's volatility products last week and two recent USA lawsuits over activities before and just after Thiam took charge have raised questions about how far his strategy has taken hold.

Fourth-quarter revenue was essentially flat at 5.19 billion francs, while pre-tax profit came in at 141 million francs, reversing a pre-tax loss of more than 2.2 billion francs a year earlier.

RBR, which a year ago reported a Credit Suisse stake worth around 100 million Swiss francs ($107 million), has been pushing for a breakup of the bank and said last month the group could create "enormous" value by replacing its IT platform and cutting jobs.

By 0955 BST, Credit Suisse shares were trading 4% higher at CHF17.15.

Thiam on Wednesday cautioned that the violent swings of the past weeks had a negative impact on the advisory business, because clients prefer calmer market to issue stocks or bonds. Yet many of Credit Suisse's markets businesses went on to struggle throughout 2017 as volatility declined.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jan-Henrik Förster in Zurich at jforster20@bloomberg.net, Patrick Winters in Zurich at pwinters3@bloomberg.net.

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