Merrill Lynch CEO Says Worst is Over

U.S. bank Merrill Lynch will not need to return to the market again following the turbulence in credit markets that forced it to raise nearly $13 billion, its chief executive was quoted as saying.

In an interview with France's Le Figaro newspaper published on Saturday, Merrill

CEO John Thain said the credit crisis was far from over but the bank would not need to seek more outside capital to bolster its balance sheet.

"We lost $8.6 billion last year ... But in parallel we raised $12.8 billion in under two months, or more than the losses we suffered. That is why today I can say that we will not need additional funds. These problems are behind us. We will not return to the market," Thain was quoted as saying.

The credit crisis that started in the U.S. subprime mortgage sector had spread to auto credits, municipal loans and commercial loans in general and was "continuing to propagate," he said.

"The problem of defaults will rise," he added.

On Wednesday, Merrill said it could cut 650 jobs as it stopped making subprime mortgages through its First Franklin Financial unit.