Category Archive: 3) Swiss Markets and News

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Credit Suisse reaches deal with former employee in spying case

The Swiss bank and its former top manager Iqbal Khan have agreed to end all pending criminal proceedings in a 2019 spying affair that toppled the company’s top brass. Speaking to the Reuters news agency, a spokesperson for Credit Suisse confirmed a report in the newspaper NZZ am Sonntag that, following an agreement between “all parties”, the matter was now closed.

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Tourism sector will take decades to recover from pandemic

The president of the national marketing body Switzerland Tourism says the year 2021 is on course to be even worse than 2020, with 5% fewer hotel stays expected. "This is not good news, because 2020 was the worst year in history" for the sector, Martin Nydegger told the newspaper SonntagsZeitung.

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Swiss flood damage could cost half a billion francs

Switzerland’s four largest buildings insurers estimate the costs of recent weather events could reach half a billion francs across Switzerland, reported RTS. According to Grégoire Deiss, who works for the cantonal buildings insurer ECAB in Fribourg, the cost of recent storms and flooding could be around CHF 500 million across all of Switzerland, a figure he based on claims that have been made so far.

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Vote to increase Swiss retirement age clears signature hurdle

The youth chapter of the PLR (FDP) has successfully collected enough signatures for an initiative to raise the official retirement age in Switzerland to 66 years old, reported RTS. On 16 July 2021, initiative organisers submitted 145,000 voter signatures as part of the formal process of launching a referendum in Switzerland.

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Google challenges Swiss data cloud contract decision

Google has appealed a recent Swiss decision to award a cloud-computing contract to five other digital firms. The tender process has also come under criticism by defenders of data sovereignty.

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Honey production collapses in Switzerland

The short spring and wet summer means Swiss bees have produced ten times less honey than usual. As a result the price of honey is set to increase. After last year’s exceptional harvest, 2021 is looking very meagre: while a hive normally produces 15-20 kilos of honey, the current figure is 0-3 kilos, Swiss public radio, RTS, reported on Thursday.

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Has a new price premium on cocoa really helped struggling African farmers?

Farmers in Ivory Coast - the world’s largest cocoa-producing nation - are getting less for their cocoa despite the introduction of a payment that aims to secure them a living wage.  

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Inbreeding hits bearded vultures in the Alps

Switzerland is celebrating the reintroduction of 50 Bearded Vultures to the Swiss Alps. It’s 30 years since the programme began in the Swiss Wildlife Reserve near Melchsee-Frutt in central Switzerland. The Bearded Vulture used to be widespread in large parts of the Alps but was hunted to extinction towards the end of the 19th century. The wild population is growing in the cantons of Valais and Graubünden, but the raptors in central Switzerland...

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Some charging for rapid Covid tests that are supposed to be free

According to a report by the newspaper Le Matin, some testing centres in Switzerland are charging for rapid antigen tests despite the federal government announcing it would cover the cost of these tests.

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Central Switzerland braces itself for another ‘flood of the century’

Lakes and rivers in central Swiss cantons such as Bern and Lucerne have reached dangerous levels, and more rain is forecast for Thursday and Friday. On Wednesday authorities in canton Bern said water levels on Lake Thun, Lake Biel and in the city of Bern would significantly exceed flood limits in the coming days.

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How the Swiss Government gets Paid to Borrow

Normally, those who borrow must pay out more money than they are lent in the form of interest and repayments. Currently, for the Swiss government it is the other way around. Lenders are paying the Swiss federal government to give it money.

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Shares in Picasso painting go up for grabs in blockchain sale

Fans of Pablo Picasso will soon be able to own a share in one of his paintings for less than $6,000 (CHF5,500) – although that won’t actually buy them the right to see the work, which will be stored under lock and key in Switzerland.

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Covid: 67% of Geneva now has Antibodies

Vaccination has pushed the percentage of residents in Geneva with antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus up to 67%, according to a recent study by Geneva’s HUG hospital. To some extent, Geneva has been at the forefront of Switzerland’s experience with Covid-19. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the canton has recorded Switzerland’s highest rate of infection, 54% above the Swiss average.

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Price comparison site Comparis customer data exposed in ransomware attack

On 9 July 2021, the Swiss price comparison website Comparis revealed that it had been the victim of a ransomeware cyber attack on Wednesday, 7 July 2021. According to Comparis, the attack occurred in the morning. Comparis took down several of its sites as a security measure. The attackers demanded money in exchange for decrypting data.

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Bern braces itself for another ‘flood of the century’

Canton Bern expects water levels on Lake Thun, Lake Biel and in the city of Bern to significantly exceed flood limits in the coming days. On Lake Biel it’s possible the situation will be similar to the flood of the century in 2005.

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Covid: 483 New Cases in 24 hours in Switzerland

On 13 July 2021, Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) reported 483 new cases of Covid-19, up from a daily average of 274 over the preceding three days. The rise in cases follows a rising trend in the incidence of the more infectious Delta variant, which now makes up the majority of DNA sequenced samples in Switzerland.

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Swiss ‘Crypto Nation’ supports African blockchain ambitions

Sub-Saharan Africa is a key region for Swiss foreign policyExternal link and digitisation will play a major role in that strategy. To this end, “Crypto Nation” Switzerland is throwing its weight behind a public-private partnership to find blockchain solutions to some of the challenges facing the continent.

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Swiss Start-Ups Show Resilience Despite Covid-19 Pandemic

The number of Swiss start-ups launched has risen significantly in the first six months of 2021 while the number of companies filing for bankruptcy has decreased, studies have shown. In the first half of 2021 over 26,000 new companies were added to Switzerland’s commercial register, an increase of over 20% compared to the year before, a new report by Dun & Bradstreet has found.

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Toxic Metals Studies Add to Frustrations Surrounding Swiss-Owned Mine in Peru

Health concerns over toxic metals in remote communities near a mining complex in the Peruvian Andes are gaining ground after the publication of several reports. Glencore which owns the mine, points at natural mineralisation of the environment.

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Tax Deal: Small Countries ‘Should not be Forgotten’ says Swiss Minister

The interests of small innovative countries must be taken into account in international corporate tax measures, says Swiss Finance Minister Ueli Maurer, who has been attending the G20 meeting in Italy. Tax was a key issue at the two-day meeting of finance ministers and central bankers from the group of 20 major economies, which wrapped up on Saturday.

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