Credit Suisse CEO defends bank’s stance on sanctions

Credit Suisse’s chief executive has defended its stance on sanctions following criticism of big banks by US senators, according to Reuters.

Chief executive Tidjane Thiam spoke out after two senators demanded that big banks should disclose links to Russian oligarchs.

Thiam said: “I can’t comment on the [senators’ request.] But what I can tell you is we are in full compliance with every regulation in every jurisdiction we are present in.”

Thiam continued: “When there are sanctions, we are fully compliant with the sanctions, of course, and we have invested a lot of resources in continuously upgrading our ability to monitor.”

Switzerland is the world’s largest centre for managing offshore wealth. Its neutral status means it has long been seen as a safe haven for those looking to keep funds out of reach internationally.

However, Switzerland has recently begun to exchange information about clients with foreign tax authorities.

Two US Democratic senators wrote to banks including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, UBS, HSBC and Credit Suisse.

On 6 april the US government announced sanctions on Russia in response to Russian interference in the 2016 US elections and other actions by the Russian government.

UBS chief executive Sergio Ermotti recently claimed the US sanctions on Russia were having a limited impact on its business, as the world’s largest wealth manager.

Carlyle-consortium mulls sale of Turkish hospital operator

US private equity giant Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ:CG) and its investment partners in Medical Park Saglik Hizmetleri AS have retained the advisory services of Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE:CS) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) for a possible sale or flotation of the Turkish hospital operator.

Medical Park said that its owners may offload shares through a block sale or opt for an initial public offering as an exit route. The proceeds will go towards financing new projects, the Turkish company added.

Last month, Medical Park said it planned to invest USD300m (EUR238m) in the opening four hospitals within three years. Operating under the name Liv Hospital Group, the facilities will be located in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir with the first one scheduled to open at the end of 2012. The Istanbul-headquartered company currently owns 16 hospitals and has a workforce of 10,000.

Carlyle became a shareholder in Medical Park three years ago, when it paid USD150m for a 40% interest.  Medical Park’s chairman Muharrem Usta and local company Sancak AS each own 30% of the company.

Carlyle is currently among the shortlisted bidders for a minority interest in Penti Corap Sanayi & Ticaret AS, a Turkish hosiery and swimwear company. In January this year, Carlyle announced the purchase of a 48% stake in education services provider Bahcesehir Kolejleri. In 2008, the US group bought 50% of local shipbuilder TVK Gemi Yapim Sanayii AS.

Greek Tsakos Energy braves equity markets via book-runner Credit Suisse

Greek energy transportation group Tsakos Energy Navigation (NYSE:TNP) has decided to tap investors for fresh equity, despite continuing worries of the Greek economy and the European sovereign debt crisis, the New York-listed firm said.

The company has mandated Credit Suisse as the book-runner for the stock offering. Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) has been hired as senior co-manager for the offering, while Clarkson Capital Markets, Dahlman Rose & Co and Brock Capital are co-managing the issue.

Tsakos Energy is issuing 10m ordinary shares at a price of USD6.50 (EUR4.95) each, 3.4% below the closing price of the company’s stock on 18 April. The underwriters also have the right to buy up to an additional 1.5m shares within 30 days of the closing of the offering. Affiliates of the company’s biggest shareholder, Tsakos Holdings Foundation, have agreed to buy 2m of the shares offered by Tsakos Energy.

The stock is being issued by means of a prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus pursuant to a shelf registration statement previously filed with and declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The closing of the sale is expected on 24 April, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

Tsakos Energy expects gross proceeds of around USD65m from the offering. It intends to use the funds to finance growth initiatives, working capital and other general corporate purposes.