Category Archive: 3) Swiss Markets and News

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UBS Shares Tumble As French Judge Slaps Bank With $5.1 Billion Tax Evasion Fine

In a landmark ruling that sent a clear message to other banks battling misconduct investigations in French courts, a Paris court on Wednesday found UBS guilty of having actively helped some of its wealthy French clients hide money from French tax authorities in undeclared Swiss bank accounts, and ordered the bank to pay a $5.1 billion fine.

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La Dépossession façon BNS. Entretien ORBIS TERRAE

L’ouvrage de Vincent Held aborde une série de sujets brûlants : la politique d’affaiblissement du francs suisse menée par la Banque nationale suisse (BNS), l’imbrication de cette politique avec celles des banques privées suisses, la politique d’acquisition d’obligations d’Etat en dollars et en euros au détriment de la constitution d’un véritable fonds souverain… Le livre de M. Held touche au cœur nucléaire de la prospérité helvétique. Et ce qu’il...

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Ministers make the case for tax and pension reform package

The Swiss government has launched its campaign in favour of the upcoming national vote on a reform of the corporate tax and pension systems. Ministers for health and finance, Alain Berset and Ueli Maurer, presented their case at a press conference on Monday, urging citizens to vote ‘yes’ on May 19.

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Wabco car systems manufacturer moves HQ to Switzerland

Car systems manufacturer Wabco Automotive has opted to move its global headquarters from Brussels to the Swiss capital, Bern. The company has plans to set up a competence centre in autonomous driving in collaboration with Swiss universities. “Switzerland is world-renowned for providing a highly favorable environment for breakthrough innovations and offers many distinct advantages for corporate headquarters,” said chairman and CEO Jacques Esculier...

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BLS train group to shelve 170 jobs by 2023

The BLS train company, which operates several routes in the regions around Bern, is to cut some 170 positions over the coming four years, for reasons of efficiency and automation. In a move criticized on Thursday by rail unions, BLS announced the cuts as part of planned efficiency gains that aim to save between CHF50-60 million ($49.8-59.2 million) by 2023.

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Swiss unemployment rate rises

There are various ways to measure unemployment. Switzerland’s standard measure looks at the number of people registered with unemployment offices across the country. By this measure Switzerland’s unemployment recently reached a 10 year low of 2.6%. Today, another unemployment measure was published. It shows a 0.1% increase in unemployment over the fourth quarter of 2018 to 4.6% or 227,000 people.

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Pressure mounts on Swiss commodity traders in Brazil corruption probe

Pressure is growing on global commodity trading firms with strong ties to Switzerland for their alleged involvement in the “Car Wash” corruption scandal in Brazil. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating two Vitol executives in the Americas, according to Reuters news agency.

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Switzerland’s federal surplus even larger than expected

In October 2018, government number crunchers revised Switzerland’s federal forecast budget surplus up from CHF 0.3 billion to CHF 2.5 billion. Today, Bern announced that provisional calculations for 2018 now show a surplus of CHF 2.9 billion, CHF 0.4 billion more than last year’s revised figure. The increase was driven by strict spending discipline and higher than expected receipts, according to the press release.

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Scandals hurt Swiss Business Reputation in 2018

Switzerland’s reputation as a place to do business took a serious hit last year following various scandals, from corporate bank fraud to illegal subsidies. The Swiss Economy Reputation Index 2018external link, published on Tuesday by Basel-based consultancy Commslab and the fög research institute at the University of Zurich, dropped for the fifth consecutive quarter, reaching its lowest level since July 2014.

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Switzerland investigating Venezuela-linked corruption

Switzerland’s attorney general has opened an investigation into a corruption case involving Venezuela, according to a weekend report published by Schweiz am Wochenende. The Latin American nation is in the grips of a major political, economic and social crisis. According to the prosecutor's statement to the weekly, proceedings were initiated at the end of 2017 against unknown persons “in the context of the events in Venezuela”.

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Train delay data queries image of Swiss railways

Trains operated by the state-owned Swiss national railway operator are less punctual than company statistics make believe. A private website, launched in 2017 and compiled from data provided by the transport ministry, found that on average one in six intercity trains – or just under 84% - operated by the Federal Railways is late. That is, it arrives at its destination with a delay of at least three minutes.

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Telecoms firms awarded 5G mobile frequencies

The Swiss government has raised CHF380 million ($379 million) from auctioning fifth-generation (5G) mobile radio frequencies, it said on Friday. The three Swiss main providers, Swisscom, Sunrise Communications and privately owned Salt, each received part of the spectrum after newcomer Dense Air dropped out of the bidding.

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Swiss start-ups to benefit from multi-million fund

Start-ups and innovative small and medium-sized businesses are to be encouraged to stay in Switzerland thanks to a new fund of up to CHF500 million ($499 million). The initiative, from Swiss Entrepreneurs Foundation (SwissEF) and launched on Thursday, has the backing of some heavy hitters in the business world, including insurer Mobiliar and banks UBS and Credit Suisse.

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Sunrise confirms talks to buy Liberty Global’s Swiss unit

Switzerland’s Sunrise Communications Group has confirmed it is in talks to buy Liberty Global’s cable operator UPC Switzerland. The company said in a statement on Tuesday: “Sunrise confirms it is in discussions with Liberty Global regarding a possible acquisition of UPC Schweiz. Sunrise will only pursue a transaction that is strategically compelling and demonstrably value creative for its shareholders.”

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Over 18 million unsolicited calls made every month in Switzerland

According to a consumer group, over 18 million unsolicited telephone calls are made every month in Switzerland. The SKS consumer group for German-speaking regions has addressed the problem of unsolicited phone calls in a letter sent to a Swiss parliamentary commission discussing the revision of the Swiss telecommunications law. A copy of the letter was recently published in Tamedia newspapers.

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Tourists return to Swiss mountain destinations

Overnight stays in Swiss Alpine resorts have increased for four consecutive seasons since winter 2016/17, with summer destinations doing better than winter destinations. Lucerne topped an international study of 145 resorts.

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Swiss bike couriers take out protection against Uber Eats

Swiss bicycle couriers have signed a 'Europe-first' collective bargaining agreement deal aimed at protecting them from cheaper rivals, such as the food delivery service Uber Eats. The courier employer’s association Swissmessengerlogistics (SML) negotiated the contract with the trade union Syndicom on Tuesday.

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Switzerland’s gender pay gap closes further

A recent survey by the Federal Statistical Office shows the overall median pay gap in Switzerland’s private sector shrunk to 12% in 2016, down from 12.5% in 2014 and 15.6% in 2010. In 2016, median pay for women was CHF 6,011 francs a month and median pay for men was CHF 6,830. The gap rose to 18.54% for the highest management positions.

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Swiss firms increase EU lobbying

Swiss companies have sharply increased their lobbying in Brussels in the face of uncertain relations with the European Union. Switzerland has more companies lobbying in Brussels than many other European countries, writes the SonntagsBlick newspaper, citing the EU’s latest transparency register.

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No Swiss exemption from EU steel import cap

The European Union is imposing limits on steel coming into the bloc from Saturday in response to US President Donald Trump’s metals tariffs. The measures will also affect Swiss steel exports to the EU. The EU said on Friday that it is introducing new measures to prevent steel produced for the US market from flooding into Europe instead because of tariffs introduced by Trump.

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