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Credit Suisse Starts Unloading Stocks Tied to Archegos Collapse

Credit Suisse Group AG started unloading stocks tied to the Archegos Capital blowup more than a week after some rivals dumped their shares and skirted losses.

The Swiss bank hit the market with block trades tied to ViacomCBS Inc., Vipshop Holdings Ltd. and Farfetch Ltd. that totaled more than $2 billion at current prices, a person with knowledge of the matter said. The stocks are trading substantially below where they were last month before Bill Hwang’s family office imploded. Shares in the three companies declined in postmarket trading, as did U.S.-listed shares of Credit Suisse. The Zurich-based firm has yet to provide investors with an update on the extent of the hit it faces from its relationship with Archegos, but it could run into the billions of dollars, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Credit Suisse’s investment-bank chief Brian Chin is set to leave and leaders are also discussing removing chief risk officer Lara Warner. The unwinding of Bill Hwang’s Archegos portfolio has turned into one of the biggest fund flameouts since Long-Term Capital Management’s demise in the 1990s.

Archegos had grown rapidly on the back of heavily leveraged bets. These came undone within days late last month as stocks including ViacomCBS and GSX Techedu Inc. tumbled, triggering margin calls. Credit Suisse and Nomura Holdings Inc. have told shareholders their businesses face “significant” losses. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley, which were among the first banks to liquidate Archegos’s holdings, appear to have avoided hits to their businesses. Given Archegos’s size, banks may accrue total losses in the range of $5 billion to $10 billion as positions get unwound, JPMorgan Chase & Co. analysts led by Kian Abouhossein wrote in a note to clients last week.

The Credit Suisse offering on Monday was large -- about 34 million shares in ViacomCBS, 14 million shares of Vipshop and 11 million shares of Farfetch, but this is still a fraction of the size traded by banks last week.