NEW YORK - Credit Suisse plans to move ahead with a major buildup of its New Yorkbased trading operations, ofricials of the bank said Friday.
Moez A. Jamal, who recently arrived as group executive for treasury operations, estimated Credit Suisse has increased its New York @tradijig staff by as much as 30% over the last two years and is still adding people, mainly in the sales department.
Looking to Bufld Capabilities,
Officials added that regionally oriented trading operations with Latin America are also slated for
expansion. The bank already does a fair amount of trading in precious metals with Latin America and is looking to build capabilities in South America," Mr. Jamal said.
Like other big foreign banks, Credit Suisse is investing heavily in developing its worldwide trading capabilities.
That inveitment has paid off handsomely so far. The bank's gross worldwide trading revenues last year reached $1.1 billion, up from $870 million in 1991 and $146 million in 1990.
Results for the first half this year are even more spectacular. The bank reported that trading income from securities, foreign exchange, precious metals, and foreign bank notes and interest instruments shot up to $570 million, an increase. of 77% over the first half of 1992.
With around 70 traders, Credit Suisse has one of the largest such operations among foreign banks in the United States.
The bank trades spot and forward foreign exchange, precious metals, and options on currencies and short-term interest rates, and is a major player in the interbank foreign market and a market maker in global foreign-exchange options.
Dramatic Increase in Volume
Mr. Jamal declined to disclose the bank's daily volume in foreign exchange and other items, but acknowledged that volume has increased dramatically."
"We're growing right across the board," he added.
Mr. Jamal said that in addition to New York, Credit Suisse is also expanding trading in Singapore, London, and Zurich.
Just as New York will serv a trading center for North and South America, London and Zir. rich will be regional trading cen, ters for Europe and Singapore for Asia.
Big Technology Investment
Credit Suisse has already spent several million dollars on technology for its downtown Manhattan trading center.
A large part of the investment in technology, Mr. Jamal said, is being devoted to the control and risk management of the bank's
"All banks have to invest in dealing room technology to help with risk management," the executive said.
"It would be extremely dangerous starting up a business which doesn't have controls in place."
In addition to trading for its own account, one of Credit Suisse's major goals is to expand trading on behalf of multinationals, domestic corporations, and financial institutions worldwide.
Unlike some other big foreign banks, which have expanded their trading in derivatives by acquiring U.S. boutiques, Credit
Suisse is carrying out its expansion intemally.
Considerable Training Needed
Most of the traders hired bv the firm are in their mid-20s and need from six to 12 months training before thev begin trading on their own.
Mr. Jamal disputed some current theories that trading ip foreign exchange, precioug Metals. and interest-rate produqts is now mainlv driven by derivdbGKati,v,es. driven by derivdbGKati,v,es.
Deri%atives do influence the timing and extent of some of the mo-, ements, but at the end of the day, trading is still mainlv driven bv investment flows and economic fundamentals." he said.