Category Archive: 3) Swiss Markets and News

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Swiss-EU friction rises in lead up to expiry of stock market equivalence

In 2018, Switzerland and the EU struck a deal to extend Swiss stock market equivalence until 30 June 2019, a date fast approaching. Stock market equivalence makes a trade on the Swiss stock exchange equivalent to a trade on an exchange in an EU country. This allows trades to be pooled across countries, something that supports global trade and improves international market liquidity, a win-win for all traders.

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Millionaires in Switzerland still on the rise

Switzerland is home to the fourth-largest number of dollar millionaire households, according to a report by the Boston Consultancy Group (BCG). Worldwide, the number of such millionaires continues to rise. There are now some 500,000 millionaire households in Switzerland, BCG said, putting the Swiss in fourth place behind the US (around 15 million), China (1.3 million), and Japan (1.1 million).

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A third of young Swiss experience financial hardship

Around 30% of young adults in Switzerland have faced financial difficulties, according to data from the Young Adult Survey Switzerland (YASS). The survey, which questions some 70,000 19-year-olds around the country every four years, aims to gain an “empiric and interdisciplinary insight” into the “educational biographies, living conditions and social and political orientations” of young Swiss adults.

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General Electric to slash 450 more Swiss jobs

United States engineering giant General Electric has revealed it will cut a further 450 jobs at two of its Swiss sites. Since 2016, the company has already shed some 2,000 workers. The company, which generated profits of $954 million (CHF952 million) last year, blamed the latest cuts on “financially challenging conditions”. But its GE Power division reported an operating loss of nearly $1 billion globally.

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Swiss health insurance deductibles to remain changeable annually

One idea for containing rising healthcare costs was to remove the possibility of changing health insurance deductibles every year, making it possible only every three years. If people are able to switch from high to low deductibles annually then they can save money by opting for a high deductible one year, while postponing visits to the doctor until the following year when they opt for a low one.

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Swiss gold refinery turns back on artisanal miners

Swiss gold refinery Metalor Technologies has announced it will no longer deal with artisanal mining operations. The company cites the increasing cost of ensuring that gold is being produced by small mines in compliance with human rights and environmental standards. Metalor has come under repeated fire for doing business with gold mines in South America that care neither for their workers or surrounding habitat.

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Raiffeisen bank announces CHF1 million executive pay cap

Switzerland’s third largest bank will limit the annual remuneration of top management to CHF1 million (around $1million) from July 1. The announcement was made at the bank’s general meeting on Saturday in Crans-Montana. CEO Heinz Huber’s compensation has already been adjusted when he took up his duties in January.

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Swiss healthcare costs expected to rise well above inflation

The cost of health insurance in Switzerland is expected to rise 3% both this year and next, warns the umbrella group for health insurers, Santésuisse. This is way above the forecast rise in consumer goods prices of 0.9% for 2019.

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Swiss restaurant ranked best in the world

A ranking by Elite Traveler placed the restaurant Hôtel de Ville de Crissier first in a list of the world’s 100 best restaurants, eight places higher than last year. The ranking is based on the votes of readers of the magazine, which is distributed to private jet companies around the world.

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Saab withdraws from Swiss fighter jet test flights

Saab’s Gripen E fighter jet will not participate in tests this month in Switzerland, the Swedish company said on Thursday. This follows a recommendation by the Swiss defence procurement agency (armasuisse). “The Gripen E development plan does not match the Swiss plan to perform flight tests with aircraft that are operationally ready in 2019,” Saab said in a statement.

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Swiss government predicts moderate economic growth in 2019

The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) is expecting the Swiss economy to grow by +1.2% in 2019, it said on Thursday. It revised its economic forecast upwards slightly from +1.1% in March, following 0.6% growth in the first quarter thanks to vigorous domestic demand.

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Switzerland has best winter for 11 years

The Swiss Hotel Association recorded a 0.7% increase in overnight stays during the 2018/2019 winter season. From November to April, 16.7 million overnight stays were recorded in Switzerland, 8.8 million by foreign visitors and 7.9 million by Swiss travelers.

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Swiss government decides not to act on roaming charges

The National Council, Switzerland’s parliament, rejected a motion to force Swiss mobile phone operators to remove EU roaming charges. 99 voted against, 78 for and 14 abstained, according to the newspaper 20 Minutes. In 2017, the European Union (EU) forced EU operators to stop charging their customers extra for calls made outside their home country but within the EU.

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Swiss regulator fines banks over improper forex trading

The Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO) has fined five international banks for their involvement in the formation of cartels that manipulated the foreign exchange market. COMCO fined Barclays, Citigroup, JPMorgan, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and the MUFG Bank a total of CHF90 million ($90.6 million) for “anti-competitive arrangements between banks in foreign exchange spot trading”.

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Plastic bag use continues to drop 

Consumption of single-use plastic bags in some 30 Swiss food retailers has dropped 86% since they introduced a small charge in 2016. The charge of CHF0.05 (an American nickel) per bag was introduced voluntarily under a sectoral agreement in response to a parliamentary move that would have banned single-use plastic bags.

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Swiss Post processes 800,000 parcels per day

The number of packages processed by the Swiss Post office’s three parcel centres has been rising steadily since they opened 20 years ago. During that time, the centres in Härkingen, Daillens and Frauenfeld have handled more than 3.1 billion packages.

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Competition watchdog takes closer look at Sunrise-UPC deal

COMCO, the Swiss Competition Commission, is to intensify its investigation of telecoms operator Sunrise’s takeover of UPC Switzerland, amid fears that the move could create positions of market dominance in several areas.

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Switzerland world’s 4th most competitive nation, according to business school ranking

Every year, Lausanne-based IMD business school publishes its global competitiveness ranking. Switzerland climbed from 5th last year to 4th behind Singapore, Hong Kong and the US. Venezuela (63rd) was last. The ranking, established in 1989, incorporates 235 indicators and takes into account a wide range of “hard” statistics such as unemployment, GDP and government spending on health and education, as well as “soft” data from an survey of business...

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Fewer Swiss farms and dairy cows, more egg-layers and goats

Last year 768 farmers in Switzerland called it quits, while others increased their livestock numbers and production of organic food. Figures released this week by the Swiss Federal Statistical Officeexternal link revealed a 1.5% drop in the number of farms, bringing the total down to 50,852. However, the number of certified organic farms rose by about 400 to 7,032.

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Switzerland a top place for skilled foreign workers and students

Switzerland is one of the most attractive locations for highly qualified foreign workers, according to a new study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In a ranking of 35 countries presented on Wednesday, Switzerland comes third behind Australia and Sweden as an attractive destination for skilled workers with a Masters degree or doctorate.

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