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Credit Suisse profits down 34 percent in first quarter on bond-market woes

FRANKFURT, Germany--Swiss bank Credit Suisse says its net profit fell 34 percent in the first quarter, more than expected, as bond-market woes hurt earnings at its investment banking business.

Profit dropped to 859 million Swiss francs (US$979 million) from 1.303 billion francs in the same quarter a year ago. The figure was short of analyst estimates of 1.1 billion francs as compiled by financial information provider FactSet.

Group core revenues fell 8 percent to 6.469 billion francs (US$7.375 billion).

The bank said Wednesday it saw lower revenues and earnings at its investment banking division, which faced “a challenging market environment.” The division saw less client activity in bond sales and trading and took a 297-million-franc loss on businesses it considers non-strategic and is planning to sell or wind down. It also cited difficulties in emerging markets.

Credit Suisse shares traded down 2 percent at 27.26 francs in midmorning trading in Europe.

CEO Brady Dougan nevertheless called it a “strong performance,” citing increased asset inflows and more money under management from the wealthy. He said the bank made a 14-percent return on equity in businesses it plans to keep, within reach of its longer-term target of 15 percent.

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