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Sat 25 Oct 2008 10:08 AM

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Qatar ups Credit Suisse stake to 8.9%

Swiss bank details stakes of Qatar and Saudi conglomerate Olayan in stock exchange disclosure.

The Qatar Investment Authority has increased its stake in the shares of Credit Suisse Group to 8.9 percent, while Saudi conglomerate Olayan has 3.6 percent, the Swiss bank said on Friday.

Credit Suisse had already announced the involvement of Qatar and Olayan in a 10 billion Swiss franc ($8.64 billion) capital hike last week, but did not detail their new stakes then.

According to a stock exchange disclosure, Qatar - already a big investor in the Swiss bank - now holds 8.9 percent of the bank's registered shares and 1 percent in Credit Suisse derivatives, adding up to 9.9 percent of voting rights.

Olayan, meanwhile, now holds 3.6 percent of registered shares and 3.4 percent of mandatory convertible notes, adding up to 7 percent of voting rights. It added the convertible notes to its existing shareholding in last week's capital raising.

Israeli holding company Koor Industries also participated in the capital hike, investing 1.2 billion francs in Credit Suisse in exchange for a 3 percent stake in the bank.

The capital injection boosted Credit Suisse's Tier 1 ratio, a measure of financial strength, to 13.7 percent, making it one of the world's best-capitalised banks.

But the bank confirmed on Thursday a 1.3 billion franc third-quarter loss and said it had cut exposure to leveraged finance by 17 percent to 11.9 billion francs, while exposure to commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) fell by 15 percent to 12.8 billion francs.

Credit Suisse has fared better than its domestic peer UBS and other rivals in the financial crisis and has so far declined state help, but investors fear its investment banking could continue to struggle if markets stay under pressure. (Reuters)

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