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Investor Backs Out Of Deal To Buy €1.3B Credit Suisse HQ

Credit Suisse's 1.5M SF Zurich headquarters

A Korean investor has pulled out of a deal to buy the Zurich HQ of Credit Suisse, the Swiss-based global investment bank currently beset by speculation about its future.

A joint venture between KB Securities and IGIS was the frontrunner to buy the two-building campus, which is being sold by Norges Bank Investment ManagementReact News reported. 

The decision to pull out of the deal was caused by wider market uncertainty related to rising interest rates and the impact on asset values, React said, rather than the recent questions Credit Suisse has faced regarding its liquidity.

Shares in Credit Suisse have dropped 56% so far this year following a large financial loss in 2021 and shareholder wariness about a plan to turn its fortunes around involving large-scale job cuts and selling off divisions to raise capital. 

Rumours that it may run out of capital have started to swirl around financial markets and social media in the past few weeks. Last Friday, CEO Ulrich Körner put out a memo to staff calling reporting about the bank inaccurate and reassuring them about the strength of the bank’s capital position. 

But on Monday, the cost of insuring against Credit Suisse defaulting on its bonds rose to record highs, indicating that investors thought the chance of default is increasing. 

While the cost of that insurance is at a record high, it is still lower than the cost of insuring against default from investment banks during the financial crisis.

Credit Suisse’s Zurich HQ is called Uetlihof, and totals 1.5M SF across two buildings. The bank has a lease on the building through 2037, with the option to extend to 2052.

Norges Bank bought the building for €1.1B in 2012 in a sale-leaseback deal.