Category Archive: 3.) Investec

Zurich homes market in highly overvalued territory, says UBS

Every quarter UBS, a bank, publishes its real estate bubble index, a report that covers real estate prices in 24 cities around the world. In the third quarter of 2019, Munich was listed as the most overvalued housing market in the world. Bubble risk was highest in Munich, Toronto, Hong Kong and Amsterdam. Frankfurt, Vancouver and Paris.

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Why Switzerland ranks near the top of the 2019 global competitiveness ranking

Switzerland made the the top 5, after dropping from 4th to 5th, in this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index. Switzerland’s decline was largely due to a down weighting of a factor where it is strong, according to WEF’s Saadia Zahidi. The Global Competitive Index measures performance in 114 areas that influence a nation’s productivity.

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EU removes Switzerland from tax haven list

In December 2017, the European Union (EU) set up a blacklist and a grey list of tax havens, countries it deemed were being used to help companies and wealthy individuals reduce their tax bills. Switzerland ended up on the grey list. Nations on these lists faced reputational damage and stricter controls on financial transactions with the EU.

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Switzerland faces looming shortage of workers

As more baby-boomers – born from 1946 to 1964 – retire, Switzerland will faces a shortage of workers, according to Credit Suisse, a bank. Economists at the bank estimate that 1.1 million people in Switzerland will retire over the next 10 years, a figure which includes nearly 800,000 people currently working.

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The remarkable rise of GDP per capita in Switzerland

In 1998, GDP per person in Switzerland was CHF 59,693. Recently published statistics put the figure at CHF 80,986 in 2018, a rise of 36%. When Swiss GDP per capita is expressed in globally comparable US dollar terms its rise is even greater. In US dollar terms Swiss GDP per capita grew from US$ 41,497 to US$ 82,839 between 1998 and 2018, a rise of 100%.

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Swiss Research Leads to Cancer Break Through

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute recently deciphered the structure of the CC chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7), a signaling protein. Cancer cells use CCR7 to guide themselves into the lymphatic system, spreading cancer throughout the body. The resulting secondary tumors, called metastases, are responsible for most cancer deaths.

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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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UBS warns of a looming shortage of workers in Switzerland

The Swiss bank UBS estimates there could be a shortfall of 500,000 workers in Switzerland in the coming 10 years as the baby boomer generation retires. However, the bank predicts the shortfall will not be even across all industries. Some sectors are expected to stagnate. Workers in these industries might find it harder to find work.

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Swiss exports to the US significantly exceed those to Germany for the first time

According to an analysis by the Swiss broadcaster RTS, Switzerland’s EU exports have declined in recent years. Over the first quarter of 2019, for the first time, exports to the US exceeded those to Germany by more than CHF 1 billion reaching CHF 15.7 billion. Exports to the US have risen from 8.3% to 16.3% of total Swiss exports over the last 30 years.

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Switzerland’s upper house wants incentives for people who work beyond 65

The gap between Switzerland’s official retirement age – 65 for men and 64 for women – and average life expectancy is long. Life expectancy at 65 is 20 years for men (85) and 23 for women (88). More and more people are questioning the viability of living for two decades or more without working, particularly when the population is aging and the pension system is crumbling.

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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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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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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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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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Swiss workers open to the idea of raising retirement age

Employees Switzerland, an organisation representing Swiss workers, is resigned to the idea of raising the retirement age, according to Swiss broadcaster RTS. Speaking to the newspaper NZZ am Sonntag, Stefan Studer, director of the association, said raising the retirement age is inevitable because of the financial difficulties facing Switzerland’s state pension system, known as the first pillar.

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Protests against 5G mobile continue in Switzerland

Last week, a crowd assembled in Bern outside Switzerland’s federal parliament building to protest the roll out of 5G mobile technology in Switzerland. Switzerland’s “Stop 5G” movement is demanding a halt to further roll out of the technology in Switzerland, a process already well underway. They are demanding a precautionary approach and further research into the health effects.

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A family apartment in Geneva close to twice the price of one in St. Gallen

On average, renting a 4.5 room apartment of 100 to 110 m2 costs CHF 3,820 a month in Geneva. The same apartment in the Swiss city of St. Gallen costs CHF 2,004, 52% of the price, according to a report on rents in Switzerland’s ten main cities by the price comparison website Comparis. For an apartment of this size, Geneva (3,820) is the most expensive, followed by Zurich (3,073), Lausanne (2,850), Basel (2,660), Bern (2,600), Luzern (2,430),...

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The price of some Swiss trains passes could rise significantly

Some travelers on Swiss trains could be in for a shock. The price of a GA travel card, an annual pass that allows unlimited travel of the Swiss Rail network, might rise 10% in 2021, according to the newspaper Le Matin. Compared to the price of other passes and tickets, the AG pass is relatively good value, according to a leaked internal document written by CH-direct, a pricing association bringing together 250 Swiss public transport companies.

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