Category Archive: 3) Swiss Markets and News

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Swiss unemployment down in second quarter of 2019

In the second quarter of 2019, the percentage of Switzerland’s population working rose by 1.1% and the percentage unemployed fell to 4.2%, based on the higher International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) measure. In the second quarter of 2019, 5.1 million people were working in Switzerland, 60% of the population. The number working rose 1.1% compared to the previous year, particularly among women (+2.0%).

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Swiss post rolls out more secure version of e-voting platform

The publicly-owned company Swiss Post, which had abandoned its electronic voting system in July over security concerns, has developed a new version. "We have already proposed a solution" to cantons, said general manager Roberto Cirillo in an interview published by the La Liberté newspaper on Friday.

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Swiss health insurers to send patients to pharmacy first

Swiss healthcare is typically ranked the world’s second most expensive, as a percentage of GDP, after the US. In Switzerland, compulsory health insurance premiums cover 37% of healthcare costs. Much of the rest is covered by tax payers and non-reimbursable out-of-pocket payments by individuals.

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Swiss food-waste pioneer wins CHF200,000 prize

This year’s CHF200,000 ($204,000) J.E. Brandenberger Foundation prize has been awarded to Yvonne Kurzmeyer, founder of the charity organisation Schweizer Tafel. The organisation redistributes over 4,000 tonnes of food a year to underprivileged groups in Switzerland.

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Big firms required to publish gender pay gap in 2021

Large companies in Switzerland will have to analyse wages of men and women starting in 2020 and make the audited results available to staff in 2021. The Federal Council agreed on Wednesday that the equal pay revision to the Gender Equality Act, passed by parliament in December 2018, will come into force on July 1, 2020.

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Nine out of ten Swiss are satisfied with their job

The vast majority of Swiss people enjoy going to work. In a survey by consultants EY, 87% said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their job. Although the figure has barely changed since last year, differences between sectors persist. In the construction industry and in mechanical and systems engineering, for example, satisfaction has increased significantly.

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Swiss groundwater quality threatened by pollution

Pollution from agriculture, former industrial sites and landfills is threatening Switzerland’s groundwater reserves, according to a detailed study of water quality. The water quality study from the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), released on Thursday, said groundwater faces the greatest pressures in areas of high farming activity.

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Swiss pharma executive gets US sanction for insider trading  

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has fined Lorenz Erne, a former senior executive at Swiss pharmaceutical firm Roche, for insider trading and ordered him to pay back the ill-gotten profits. Erne accepted the accusations and agreed to the terms of a settlement with the SEC, according to an SEC document published on Thursday. He has to pay back $159,228 (CHF156,000) plus a fine of $79,614 within 14 days to the SEC “for transfer to the...

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Swiss taxis Europe’s most expensive

In a recent comparison of taxi fares across Europe, Geneva and Zurich were the most expensive. In the study, which focused on the total cost of a taxi journey from the airport to the centre of town, Geneva (€36 – CHF40) and Zurich (€63 – CHF70) fared better than Milan (€105) and London (€104), which had the highest total journey costs. However, this is only because Zurich and Geneva airports are close to the city centre.

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Swiss financial sector shines in international survey 

Switzerland’s financial centre has a positive reputation abroad, despite a string of scandals in 2018, according to a 19-nation survey conducted by Presence Suisse. The reputation and quality of Swiss banks were rated as “good” to “very good” by most respondents in the international poll of 12,767 people. The ethics and responsibility of the Swiss banking sector are also well regarded.

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Survey shows growing political acceptance for a fuel tax

Analysis of survey questions filled out by Swiss politicians in 2015 and 2019 shows a marked turnaround in attitudes towards the introduction of a carbon tax on fuel. The Smartvote online platform asks politicians various attitudinal questions in an effort to help voters make up their minds in the lead up to national elections.

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Novartis rejects suspected data manipulation in US

Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis has dismissed criticism that it allegedly withheld information about animal testing data inaccuracies to United States authorities for a human gene therapy. Novartis said its subsidiary in California began investigating the alleged data manipulation for its gene therapy Zolgensma as soon as it learned about it.

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Chinese-owned Swissmetal sold to Swiss investors

The cash-strapped Baoshida Swissmetal company has been taken over by a group of Swiss investors six years after it was sold to a Chinese group. The newly-founded Swissmetal Industries, backed by two private investors, said it had acquired the firm, which employs about 160 people at two factories in the small towns of Dornach and Reconvilier.

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US tourists flocking to Switzerland amid economic boom  

American visitors to Switzerland have increased by over 40% in five years and represent a major growth motor for the tourism industry, annual statistics show. Chinese and Indian tourists are often seen as the future of Swiss tourism, the SonntagsZeitung and Le Matin Dimanche newspapers reported at the weekend. However, they say, “North America is the real growth engine when it comes to overseas visitors”.

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Switzerland has highest underemployment in Europe

In 2018, 830,000 people in Switzerland were unable to find the work they wanted, according the Federal Statistical Office. While 243,000 were looking but not immediately available and 231,000 were unemployed, most (356,000) were underemployed – working but unable to find as many hours of work as they’d like.

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Swiss apprenticeships – too many places, not enough takers

Figures on unfilled apprenticeship places show the difficulty of matching supply and demand in the labour market. This year there were 12,000 unfilled apprenticeship positions in Switzerland. Switzerland’s apprenticeship model, which helps match workers’ skills with employer demand, is one driver of Switzerland’s low unemployment (4.9%) – 2018 ILO basis.

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Glencore suffers $350m hit as cobalt prices decline

Glencore has taken a $350 million hit because of falling cobalt prices as the problems facing its African copper business continue to pile up. The Switzerland-based miner and commodity trader has been grappling with a string of issues in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it operates two copper mines, and in Zambia, where it owns another asset.

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Nestlé invests CHF99 million in factory expansion in Indonesia

The Swiss food giant has announced plans to invest CHF99 million (around $100 million) to expand three factories in Indonesia. The goal is to increase Nestlé’s production capacity in the country by 25%, according to a company announcement on Wednesday.

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Switzerland’s first integrated crypto asset exchange launched

Smart Valor, the country’s first integrated cryptocurrency exchange offering custody, trading and brokerage, has gone live with nine crypto-fiat trading pairs. The assets on Zug-based platform, that was launched in 2017 as part of the Thomson Reuters Incubator, includes crypto currencies and security tokens.

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Switzerland assists Japanese probe into Carlos Ghosn 

Canton Zurich’s public prosecutor is assisting the Japanese authorities in an inquiry related to bank accounts associated with Carlos Ghosn, the former leading auto executive. Tokyo prosecutors sent a request for legal assistance to Switzerland in January, a spokesperson for the country's Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) told swissinfo.ch.

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