Some investors are bidding up legal claims on Credit Suisse’s additional-tier 1 debt in a bet that they can recover some value from the bonds that were wiped out during the UBS Group AG takeover.
(Bloomberg) — Some investors are bidding up legal claims on Credit Suisse’s additional-tier 1 debt in a bet that they can recover some value from the bonds that were wiped out during the UBS Group AG takeover.
The trading desk at Cantor Fitzgerald has circulated an offer to buy some of the claims at 9.5 cents on the dollar each, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified. That’s up from around 3 to 4 cents in mid-August, they said.
It’s a sign that some money managers are taking wagers on a settlement with Swiss authorities over the controversial decision to make Credit Suisse’s risky AT1 bonds worthless. Investors in the AT1 claims are targeting a settlement of around 15 cents, said one person who is part of one of the lawsuits. Another person involved with one of the large bondholder groups suing Swiss authorities said they would look for a significantly higher payout than that.
Spokespeople for Cantor didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Bloomberg News. A representative from UBS declined to comment.
Some analysts have speculated that UBS’s possible sale of its own AT1s may add pressure on Swiss regulators to settle complaints around the Credit Suisse AT1 claims. However, there’s no certainty of a resolution anytime soon.
Still, AT1 holders have argued that they were treated unfairly, given that traditionally equity holders are the first in line to absorb losses, not bondholders. AT1s are a risky class of debt and created in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis as a tool to avoid taxpayers from funding bank bailouts.
The document sent around by Cantor’s traders is what’s known in the industry as a bond run. It’s usually sent by brokers acting on behalf of clients to potential sellers as a way to test pricing. The claims trading in Credit Suisse AT1s was set up by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., making it possible for investors to bet on the outcome.
(Adds detail on targeted settlement price in third paragraph)
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