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Archive for the ‘Credit Suisse’ Category


Looks Like a Loss for Credit Susse in Auction-Rate Securities Cases

Last month, a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel awarded $9.8 million to Catalyst Health Solutions in its auction-rate securities case against Credit Suisse Securities, meaning that more institutional investors are coming out on top in their cases involving auction-rate securities.

Catalyst Heath Solutions, which manages prescription drug benefits, is just one of many institutional investors to take legal action against Credit Suisse after the ARS market came to an abrupt standstill in February 2008. Following the market’s collapse, institutional and retail investors alike were left financially hammered, unable to liquidate their supposedly liquid investments.

Ultimately, regulatory settlements were reached with a number of broker/dealers that marketed and sold auction-rate securities to investors. Most of the agreements, however, benefited retail ARS holders, not institutional investors.

In 2009, another institutional investor, STMicroelectronics NV, also successfully won its case against Credit Suisse when a FINRA arbitration panel ordered the brokerage to pay STMicroelectronics NV more than $406 million to settle claims that it misled the semiconductor maker into buying auction-rate securities.

On May 27, 2010, FINRA again ruled in favor of an investor’s arbitration claim against Credit Suisse. This time, the panel found Credit Suisse liable to Luby’s Inc. Specifically, FINRA ordered Credit Suisse to buy back the auction-rate securities at par and to pay interest on them at the par purchase price of 6% per annum from and including May 29, 2010, through and including the date the award is paid in full. According to Luby’s Feb. 10, 2010, quarterly filing, the company held $7.1 million par value or $5.2 million fair value in auction-rate securities.

Credit Suisse Ordered to Pay FINRA Arbitration Award

Credit Suisse Group AG, the biggest bank in Switzerland by market value, was ordered by a U.S. judge to pay STMicroelectronics NV the remainder of a $431 million award over unauthorized investments in auction-rate securities.

The arbitration award, ordered in 2009 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, was affirmed on March 19 by U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts in New York, who cited a “record replete with evidence of Credit Suisse’s fraud.”

“Credit Suisse has grasped unsuccessfully at straws to avoid payment of the arbitration award in this case,” Batts said in the ruling. The unpaid balance is about $354 million, including $23 million in interest, Geneva-based STMicroelectronics said today in a statement.

Europe’s biggest semiconductor maker, which hired Credit Suisse to make investments for the company, accused the bank of investing in risky securities after claiming it would only invest in student loans backed by the U.S. government. STMicroelectronics sued when the value of the securities fell and in February 2009 won an arbitration award before the Washington-based regulator, known as FINRA.

“We respectfully disagree with the court’s decision and are evaluating an appeal,” Alex Biscaro, a spokesman for Zurich-based Credit Suisse, said today in an e-mailed statement.

At least 19 underwriters and broker-dealers were sued in class-action, or group, lawsuits since the $330 billion market for auction-rate securities collapsed in February 2008. Some have been compelled by regulators to buy back billions of dollars of the securities.

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