Credit Suisse shares slip on skepticism about U.S. takeover offer

MILAN (Reuters) – Credit Suisse shares fell on Thursday on growing skepticism about a takeover offer from U.S. financial giant State Street after a media report a day earlier boosted the heavily-shorted stock from a near 20-year low.

State Street said overnight it was focused on the pending acquisition of Brown Brothers Harriman’s Investors Services business, after Wednesday’s report by Inside Paradeplatz saying it was planning a takeover bid.

The lack of any confirmation drove shares in Credit Suisse further down from highs hit on Wednesday. By 0852 GMT they had fallen 1.7%, underperforming Europe’s broader market which was down 0.4% ahead of a European Central Bank policy meeting.

Analysts see any takeover as highly unlikely because of limited synergies and a number of risks ranging from capital costs to litigation. One area of potential interest for State Street could be the asset management business, said Deutsche Bank.

The deal speculation comes as Credit Suisse delivered a third consecutive quarterly profit warning.

Reuters reported last year that State Street was among investors interested in Credit Suisse’s asset management arm, as the Swiss lender explored options for the unit after a run of costly scandals.

(Reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Saikat Chatterjee and Edmund Blair)