At the maneuver for this seduction operation, the head of global equities, Neil Hosie, in the absence of the chairman of Credit Suisse and the CEO Ulrich Körner who canceled their participation in this conference, closed to the press.

The slogan of this event, "embrace the new reality and prosper", according to the brochures prepared weeks ago, took on a new significance.

Initially, the three-day event was intended to be an opportunity to discuss ways to adapt to weaker growth and significant tensions in Asia, according to the bank.

The turmoil in the banking sector, shaken by the bankruptcy of the American institution Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), and the emergency takeover of Credit Suisse by UBS for a pittance, decided otherwise.

After intense negotiations this weekend, the leading Swiss banking group agreed Sunday to buy its rival in difficulty, with significant guarantees from the Swiss government.

The amount of the Credit Suisse buyout, which has been going through intense turbulence since the beginning of last week, amounts to 3 billion Swiss francs (3.02 billion euros), payable in UBS shares, for a bank that was worth nearly triple it on Friday at the close of trading.

From the US Treasury to the European Central Bank (ECB), the purchase was welcomed by those who feared a new runaway financial markets. In the aftermath, the world's most powerful central banks announced coordinated action to improve access to liquidity.

On Tuesday, these large-scale deals seemed to be starting to bear fruit: markets and banks rebounded and Credit Suisse shares were pulling their heads out of the water.

According to Credit Suisse, more than 1,600 investors from more than 200 companies, including 84 Chinese companies, are expected to attend the seminar.

Don't panic here

Few signs of any tension among the many diners around the buffet or in the corridors of the Conrad Hotel.

Clients have shown "overwhelmingly" their support and confidence in the success of the takeover operation, told AFP a Credit Suisse official who wished to remain anonymous.

"I don't feel panic here," he added. "They are not worried about any problem" because this operation "has the guarantee of the Swiss government".

Brochures for the Credit Suisse conference in Hong Kong. Photo taken on March 21, 2023 © Bertha WANG / AFP

A representative of a Chinese group also told AFP that the information around the acquisition was encouraging.

© 2023 AFP