Bank Losses From Swiss Currency Surprise Seen Mounting

Among those taking a hit: Everest Capital, who lost its main fund.

 

The $400 million of cumulative losses that Citigroup Inc. (C), Deutsche Bank AG and Barclays Plc (BARC) are said to have suffered from the Swiss central bank’s decision to end the cap on the franc may be followed by others in coming days.

“The losses will be in the billions — they are still being tallied,” said Mark T. Williams, an executive-in-residence at Boston University specializing in risk management. “They will range from large banks, brokers, hedge funds, mutual funds to currency speculators. There will be ripple effects throughout the financial system.”

Citigroup, the world’s biggest currencies dealer, lost more than $150 million at its trading desks, a person with knowledge of the matter said last week. Deutsche Bank lost $150 million and Barclays less than $100 million, people familiar with the events said, after the Swiss National Bank scrapped a three-year-old policy of capping its currency against the euro and the franc soared as much as 41 percent that day versus the euro. Spokesmen for the three banks declined to comment.

Marko Dimitrijevic, the hedge fund manager who survived at least five emerging-market debt crises, is closing his largest hedge fund, which had about $830 million in assets at the end of the year, after losing virtually all its money on the SNB’s decision, a person familiar with the firm said last week.

FXCM Inc., the largest U.S. retail foreign-exchange broker, got a $300 million cash infusion from Leucadia National Corp. after warning that client losses threatened its compliance with capital rules. FXCM, which handled $1.4 trillion of trades for individuals last quarter, said it was owed $225 million by customers.

Full article: Bank Losses From Swiss Currency Surprise Seen Mounting (Bloomberg)

Comments are closed.