A redemption for a rescue operation. The largest Swiss bank, UBS, agreed on Sunday March 19 to buy its rival, Credit Suisse, battered on the stock market last week, thus pushing back the specter of a bankruptcy which would have caused a shock wave through the whole sector. global financial.
The information, first revealed by the Financial Times daily, which is counting on a takeover of more than 2 billion dollars (1.87 billion euros), was confirmed at the start of the evening by the Swiss federal government, which is betting on this merger to "restore confidence".
This solution "is not only decisive for Switzerland (...) but for the stability of the entire financial system" worldwide, assured the President of the Swiss Confederation, Alain Berset. In support of this takeover, the Swiss central bank granted the two institutions a liquidity line of up to 100 billion Swiss francs.
Credit Suisse is one of the thirty most important banks in the world from a systemic point of view, institutions that governments cannot afford to abandon to their fate because of their size and their interweaving in the financial system.
This weekend, financial authorities around the world watched the progress of the negotiations, fearing the contagion of panic in the event of failure. "We are now awaiting a definitive and structural solution to the problems of this bank," French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in an interview with Le Parisien on Sunday.
According to information from the Financial Times, the transaction would be made solely in UBS shares and would value Credit Suisse shares at a price of 50 cents, instead of the 25 initially proposed, which remains much lower than the share price on Friday at the close (1 .86 francs).
The banking sector has been under stress since the major central banks have raised their rates sharply in an attempt to control inflation. Many establishments have failed to prepare after years of having access to cheap money.
Credit Suisse has just experienced two years marked by several scandals which revealed, by management's own admission, "substantial weaknesses" in its "internal control".
Long neck and neck, UBS and Credit Suisse have seen their fates diverge in recent years, as the number two paid dearly for the risks taken to catch up with its rival. Since 2020, UBS's share price has risen by 120%, while Credit Suisse's has fallen by 70%. The market capitalization of the first is 56.6 billion dollars (52.8 billion euros), while at the close, Friday March 17, Credit Suisse was only worth 8 billion dollars.