Credit Suisse sets the pace for week's business news

Analysts are awaiting figures from Credit Suisse Keystone Archive

Switzerland's second biggest bank, Credit Suisse, will be the main focus of interest at the beginning of the week when it releases results for the first quarter of the current year.

This content was published on May 18, 2001 - 16:25

Analysts expect first quarter net income to come in at around Sfr1.4 billion ($806 million) - a decline of around 25 per cent on the same period last year.

This would be in line with first quarter numbers released last week by the country's biggest bank, UBS which showed net profit down 29 per cent year-on-year to SFr1.579 billion.

Financial institutions have seen their profits hit recently by volatile equity markets and a slowdown in investment banking.

Credit Suisse had net earnings of SFr5.8 billion last year, with assets under management totalling SFr1.417 trillion.

After a spate of stormy annual general meetings in recent weeks, it's the turn of shareholders at Unaxis and Swatch to gather for yearly reports from their boards. Both these AGMs, however, should pass off without too much controversy.

Analysts will continue to keep an eye on the Swiss National Bank, which is expected to implement a rate cut in the next few weeks. Most anticipate a quarter point drop with the bank being encouraged by the US Federal Reserve's aggressive cuts and by the stability of Swiss prices.

On the economics front, April's trade figures are out on Tuesday. The last available data for March showed Switzerland had a healthy trade surplus of SFr74.5 million with the rest of the world.

by Michael Hollingdale

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