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SNB Reviews Communications After Credit Suisse Puts Surge

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SNB Reviews Communications Following Jump in Credit Suisse Puts
The SNB will review how it publishes its annual financial stability report, the central bank said in an e-mailed statement today. Photographer: Gianluca Colla/Bloomberg

The Swiss National Bank will review its communications procedures after trading in bearish options on Credit Suisse Group AG surged following a private briefing in which regulators disclosed the firm faced a capital shortfall.

The SNB will review how it publishes its annual financial stability report, the central bank said in an e-mailed statement today. The bank has so far presented preliminary information to journalists under embargo before the official publication of the release, “to explain the partly complex content of the report,” it said.

Shares in Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second-largest bank, plunged 10 percent to 17.01 francs yesterday after the SNB said, as part of the annual report, that the lender needs a “marked increase” in capital this year. That was the first time since the central bank began publishing the study in 2003 that it singled out Credit Suisse as needing a bigger improvement in capital than UBS AG, the country’s largest lender.

The disclosure of the annual report under embargo “seems to be common practice and they should review the process,” Andreas Venditti, an analyst at Zuercher Kantonalbank, said in a phone interview.

Credit Suisse Puts

Turnover in puts that give the right to sell Credit Suisse shares jumped on June 11, when the SNB briefed about 30 journalists who didn’t have to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The central bank also sent the report to UBS and Credit Suisse, the only lenders to receive the report under embargo, which arrived on June 12.

Trading in Swiss puts expiring today with a strike price of 19 francs jumped to 4,250 contracts on June 11 from 200 on June 8, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The average volume in the month to June 8 was 426 a day. The derivatives rose to 2 francs apiece yesterday from 26 centimes at the start of the week.

The shares rose 3.4 percent to 17.59 francs at 4:17 p.m. in Zurich today.

Under local regulations, Switzerland’s stock exchanges must monitor their markets for illegal insider transactions, price manipulation and other unlawful activity. If they suspect impropriety, the exchanges must report it to the regulator, Finma, which has the mandate to investigate.

Tobias Lux, a spokesman for Finma, wasn’t immediately available to comment. Alain Bichsel, head of media relations at the SIX Swiss Exchange, declined to comment.

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