Qatar Investment Authority hikes stake in Credit Suisse to nearly 7%

Qatar sovereign wealth fund doubles stake in Credit Suisse to 6.87%

Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has doubled its stake in Credit Suisse to 6.87% from about 5.6% previously to become the second-biggest shareholder in the Swiss bank after Saudi National Bank (SNB) acquired a nearly 10% stake last November.

A regulatory filing with US Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday showed that QIA, which invested in Credit Suisse during the financial crisis, doubled its stake in the banking group late last year. Together with SNB’s stake and 3% held by Saudi Arabian conglomerate Olayan Group, the three Middle Eastern investors control more than a fifth of the Swiss lender.

The investment by QIA comes as major US investors Harris Associates and Artisan Partners sell down their shares in Credit Suisse. Harris was the bank’s biggest shareholder just a few months ago with a 10% stake and now holds a 5% to become the third-largest shareholder while Artisan has sold its position entirely.

Buoyed by bumper hydrocarbon receipts, investors based in the oil-rich GCC region increased their shareholdings in European financial institutions in 2022 and could buy further financial services stakes this year.

Last year, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) explored potential international takeovers or investments and considered a deal to acquire Standard Chartered. FAB confirmed earlier this month that it “had previously been at the very early stages of evaluating a possible offer for Standard Chartered” but was “no longer doing so”.