Losses narrow at Credit Suisse despite U.S. tax reforms

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Credit Suisse has come under pressure from an activist investor, Swiss hedge fund RBR, which took a stake in the bank past year and is pressing for the firm to hive off its investment bank and move it to NY from Zurich.

Tidjane Thiam, chief executive of Credit Suisse, said in a statement, "Our 2017 results show that our strategy is working".

But the meltdown of one of the bank's volatility products last week and two recent USA lawsuits over activities before and just after Thiam took charge have raised questions about how far his strategy has taken hold.

Credit Suisse rose as much as 4.2 percent and traded 3.4 percent up at 1:38 p.m.in Zurich, leading the Bloomberg Europe 500 Banks and Financial Services Index higher.

The bank said it will pay its first all-cash dividend in four years, a move it adopted last year following a pay snafu which saw Credit Suisse (CS) back down amid massive pressure from large institutional investors.

Thiam on Wednesday cautioned that the violent swings of the past weeks had a negative impact on the advisory business, because clients prefer calmer market to issue stocks or bonds.

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The logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse is seen at a branch in Winterthur, Switzerland November 2, 2017.

Credit Suisse also provided a glimpse into its business already in 2018, pointing to revenue growth in the double digits in percentage terms in the first six weeks of the year.

Investors say Credit Suisse's transformation is moving along.

"We're adopting a cautious short-term outlook in this period of heightened volatility", stated. "They've made great strides in reducing their cost base and in a supportive environment should profit more than others when returns start shooting up".

Activist investor RBR Capital Advisors renewed pressure on Credit Suisse for a strategic shakeup after Switzerland's second-biggest bank reported its third consecutive annual loss on Wednesday, hit by writedowns on USA deferred tax assets.

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