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Credit Suisse considers stock sale instead of Swiss unit IPO -sources

| FRANKFURT/LONDON, March 23

FRANKFURT/LONDON, March 23 Credit Suisse is considering an accelerated bookbuilding to raise capital instead of selling a minority stake in its Swiss banking division, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam said last month the bank was examining alternatives to the IPO, which was penciled in for the second half of this year.

"They need more capital," said one of the people. "They realise they can do this without doing an IPO."

Credit Suisse declined to comment.

The likelihood of the IPO going ahead is now low but the team behind it is continuing work on the project because there has not yet been an official decision, the second person said, adding a rights issue was another possible option.

Reuters reported on Friday that the bank's board of directors was set to decide in April whether to go ahead with the IPO.

Through an accelerated bookbuilding, a company can sell shares in a short period of time to institutional investors. The sale can be launched overnight with a tight timetable.

Under Swiss securities law, companies are not required to draw up a listing prospectus if it is increasing its share capital by less than 10 percent.

In the case of Credit Suisse, that would allow the bank to raise around 3 billion Swiss francs ($3 billion).

($1 = 0.9928 Swiss francs)

(Writing by Joshua Franklin; Editing by Michael Shields)

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