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(Bloomberg) -- Brady Dougan predicts “adjustments” to Credit Suisse Group AG’s credit business this year as spreads widen, the chief executive officer said Thursday.
Switzerland’s second-biggest bank said revenue in fixed- income trading, which also includes securitized products, emerging market debt and global macro, rose 7.1 percent to 850 million francs ($913 million) in the fourth quarter.
Higher revenue from trading asset-backed securities offset weaker income from the high-yield business, according to Omar Fall, an analyst at Jefferies Group LLC.
Credit Suisse has about twice the exposure to high-yield debt, or junk bonds, than the average of its competitors, Jefferies analysts led by Fall said in January. Growth in the trading of high yielding bonds slowed in the fourth quarter, data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence show, amid the prospect of the Federal Reserve likely raising benchmark rates.
“The fourth quarter was a more difficult market for credit certainly than it’s been, it is an important business of ours,” Dougan said in an interview with Bloomberg Television Thursday. “It certainly could be a business this year that sees adjustments to credit spreads, that sees adjustments to the volumes of the business,” he said.
Dougan’s remarks echo concern expressed by bankers at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month that there could be reverberations in the corporate bond market once the Fed starts tightening interest rates.
“A disruptive credit event following a Fed turn would be at the top of my worry list,” Deutsche Bank AG co-Chief Executive Officer Anshu Jain said at a panel discussion at Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 21. “Sometime in the next six, max 12 months, we are going to get that Fed turn. That’s going to be very significant.”
Credit Suisse is among the top three investment banks in the credit business, according to a presentation by the bank published Thursday. Its reliance on this area could lead to lower revenues from fixed-income trading this year, the Jefferies analysts wrote in January.
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