“Breaking the weakest links”: Investors believe there is a risk of contagion for Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse said Thursday it would borrow up to 50 billion Swiss francs ($53.68 billion) from the Swiss central bank.

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Credit Suisse shares rose Thursday, recovering from a new all-time low, after the troubled lender announced it would enlist central bank support to shore up its finances.

Switzerland’s second-largest bank said it will borrow up to 50 billion Swiss francs ($53.68 billion) from the Swiss National Bank, giving investors a moment of relief after the Zurich-headquartered company blew Europe’s banking sector in last year had led to a wild ride down session.

The Switzerland-listed share price was trading about 24% higher as of 11am London time (7am ET) – a massive rise from Wednesday’s plunge of more than 30% after its biggest supporter said he would not provide further support due to regulatory restrictions.

The sudden loss of confidence in Credit Suisse, which came as worries about the health of the banking system spread from the US to Europe, has led some to question the “true” value of Credit Suisse’s share price.

“We have to take a step back and of course look at the viability of the business model [and] on the entire regulatory landscape,” Beat Wittmann, chairman of the Swiss Porta Advisors, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on Thursday.

“I think the bank’s leadership really needs to use this lifeline now to review their plan because obviously the capital markets haven’t bought the plan, as we’ve seen recently from the performance of the share price and credit default swaps.”

Asked for his opinion on the sharp fall in Credit Suisse share price – which fell below 2 Swiss francs for the first time on Wednesday – Wittmann said a “brutal” monetary tightening cycle led by major central banks in recent months was at work made companies vulnerable to shocks now I’m “really starting to suffer”.

“The weakest links break and that’s happening right now and that was totally predictable – and this won’t be the last. Now is really the time for policymakers to restore confidence and liquidity to the system, be it in the US, be it in Switzerland or elsewhere,” Wittmann said.

Soliciting advice from investors amid the market turmoil, he said: “The upward momentum in inflation and interest rates is slowing down very significantly, so I think the capital markets are on a very sound footing.”

“But I would highly recommend sticking with quality companies – that means strong management, strong balance sheets, a strong value proposition. And now you can buy them at more attractive valuations,” Wittmann added.

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Source : www.cnbc.com

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