* Q2 net profit 170 Sfr vs Rtrs poll avg loss 192 mln Sfr
* Result major boost to CEO Thiam’s restructuring efforts
* Q2 CET1 ratio 11.8 pct vs 11.4 pct in Q1 (Adds detail)
By Joshua Franklin
ZURICH, July 28 (Reuters) - Credit Suisse posted a surprise second-quarter net profit, confounding analyst expectations for a third consecutive quarterly loss in a major boost to Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam’s efforts to restructure Switzerland’s second-biggest bank.
The numbers on Thursday are the first green shoots for Thiam’s strategy, which he laid out in October. His plan consists of slimming down the investment bank, focusing on wealth management and cutting at least 4.3 billion Swiss francs ($4.4 billion) in costs by the end of 2018.
Tough financial markets and muddled communication of the blueprint, as well as concerns over Credit Suisse’s capital position, have so far hampered Thiam’s efforts to turn around the bank he took over in July 2015.
The quarterly net profit of 170 million francs followed a profit of 1.05 billion francs in the same period last year but beat even the most optimistic forecast in a Reuters poll of six analysts, with the average estimate for a 192 million franc loss.
“We remain cautious in our outlook for the second half of 2016 in view of the uncertainty created by significant geopolitical and macro-economic concerns, reinforced a few weeks ago by the outcome of the UK referendum,” Thiam said in a statement.
The result was boosted by unexpected pre-tax income of 154 million francs at Credit Suisse’s global markets division, one of two investment banking divisions and a source of steep losses in recent months.
At the end of the second quarter, Credit Suisse’s common equity tier 1 capital ratio was 11.8 percent of risk-weighted assets, within its target of 11-12 percent for 2016.
This could help ease some concerns the bank is undercapitalised relative to peers. Credit Suisse also plans to raise an extra 2 billion to 4 billion francs by floating part of its Swiss business next year.
Net new money inflows — seen as a volatile but important indicator of future earnings in wealth management — at its three private banking divisions totalled 11.3 billion francs in the second quarter.
$1 = 0.9852 Swiss francs Reporting by Joshua Franklin; Editing by Michael Shields