Category Archive: 3.) Investec

Coronavirus: Swiss tourism expected to lose 6.4 billion francs

Tourism is one of the sectors hardest hit by the coronavirus and the response to it. Figures from a study by HES-SO Valais published by the newspaper Blick suggest the industry will see revenues in Switzerland drop 18%, or CHF 6.4 billion, in 2020.

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Close to one fifth of households in Switzerland behind on debt payments

In 2017, 18.9% of Switzerland’s population lived in a household with outstanding debt repayments, a percentage that has rose from 17.7% over the proceeding 4 years. The most common forms of outstanding debts were taxes, health insurance premiums and phone bills. 9.9% of households had outstanding tax payments, 7.3% owed health insurance money and 5.2% had an outstanding telecommunications bill.

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Swiss Post stops accepting parcels and letters to China

Swiss Post has said it will no longer accept packages addressed to China, according to Tribune de Genève. Because of the covid-19 virus, airlines have stopped or drastically reduced flights to China. This fall in air traffic has reduced postal service capacity to China by two thirds.

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The labels that show how much more international retailers charge Swiss

To simplify labelling, many international retailers put recommended retail prices (RRP) for multiple nations on the same label, like the one below. The Swiss retail price premium laid bare.Labels such as these show how much more Swiss customers are being charged compared to customers in other countries.

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Swiss private bank Pictet to drop fossil fuel investments

Recently, the private bank Pictet, based in Geneva, announced plans to eliminate all of its investments in companies actively associated with the production and extraction of fossil fuels, according to a press release.

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Swiss environmental agency sets no date for 5G launch

Earlier this week, Switzerland’s Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) announced it had contacted the cantons at the end of January 2020, informing them it had not set a date for switching on 5G networks. However, mobile networks plan to continue installing 5G equipment after rolling out more than 2,000 antenna last year – a map showing where the new antenna are can be viewed here.

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Switzerland most expensive country in 2020

It will come as little surprise to many that Switzerland has been ranked the world’s most expensive country. Put together by the magazine CEO World, the ranking pulls cost of living data on accommodation, clothing, taxi fares, utilities, internet, groceries, transport, and dining out, from a number of other studies.

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Philip Morris International to axe jobs in Switzerland

The tobacco company Philip Morris International (PMI) has unveiled plans to cut jobs at its sites in Lausanne and Neuchâtel. A total of around 265 jobs are likely to go. Most of them will be transferred to the UK, Portugal and Poland. The company has opened formal processes in both cantons and those affected will be informed between now and the end of March 2020, it said.

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Credit Suisse accused of spying on Greenpeace

According to SonntagsZeitung, the bank Credit Suisse has been spying on Greenpeace. Nearly three years ago, the environmental organisation thwarted security and disrupted the bank’s general assembly with a stunt aimed at shaming Credit Suisse for financing Energy Transfer, a company involved in the construction of the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline running through reserves in the US state of Dakota.

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Trump should be disinvited to Davos, says St. Gallen University economist

Speaking to CNN Money, Markus Will, a senior economist at St. Gallen University, described Trump’s speech, in which he didn’t mention climate once, as a “contradiction to the values of Davos.” “It was a nationalistic, domestic, state of the union address from Davos rather than an improving of the state of the world speech which you should do in Davos”, he said, before adding, “you should disinvite him cordially for next year.

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Running a Swiss business – changes in 2020

Every year brings changes for business owners and managers. In May 2019, a majority of Swiss voters accepted a package of changes to the way companies are taxed known as The Federal Act on Tax Reform and AHV Financing (TRAF). Many of the changes flowing from this begin on 1 January 2020.

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Swiss parliament approves new 6 billion franc fighter jet purchase

Before Christmas, Switzerland’s parliament approved the purchase of a new fleet of fighter jets costing CHF 6 billion, according to RTS. The plan, which aims to defend Swiss airspace beyond 2030, has now been approved by both Switzerland’s upper and lower houses.

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Swiss foreign work permit quotas maintained for 2020

Every year, Switzerland sets quotas for the number of work visas it issues to citizens outside the EU and EFTA. This week the government announced it would maintain the quota of 8,500 permits that was in place in 2018. In addition, it confirmed an earlier deal it struck with the UK to issue up to 3,500 work visas to British citizens in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

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Most Swiss prefer home grown eggs, meat and dairy

Recently published statistics suggest most Swiss prefer home grown animal products. Three quarters (75%) of those surveyed said they preferred Swiss eggs and more than half preferred Swiss meat (51%) and dairy products (59%).

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More than 100 members of Extinction Rebellion convicted in Switzerland

In September 2019, groups of people belonging to the group Extinction Rebellion blocked two road bridges in Lausanne. Local police cleared the bridges by removing, in some cases carrying, protesters away. On 7 November 2019, 117 of the people involved in the bridge protests were convicted and fined for breaking Switzerland’s penal code, according to RTS.

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Geneva to ban Uber if it doesn’t change its operating model

After a legal analyis the government of the canton of Geneva has decided that drivers of the ride hailing service are employees rather than independent contractors, effectively banning Uber from operating under its current model. In an interview with RTS, Mauro Poggia, a lawyer and Geneva state councillor, said that Uber is a transport company and as such must employ its drivers.

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Minimum Swiss internet speed to triple in 2020

The Federal Council, Switzerland’s executive, has confirmed a decision made by parliament to raise the minimum speed of broadband internet connections in Switzerland. From 1 January 2020, the minimum download speed specified in Switzerland’s universal service agreement with Swisscom will rise from 3 to 10 megabits per second (Mbits/s) and the minimum upload speed will rise from 0.3 to 1 Mbit/s.

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Swiss commission supports new laws to protect whistleblowers

A commission of the Council of States, Switzerland’s upper house, is in favour of new rules to protect whistleblowers. The proposed rules, which would help to protect those who expose secretive information or activity that is deemed illegal or unethical, were supported by 6 commission votes to 2 with 4 abstentions.

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Swiss central bank makes 388 million from negative interest rates

The Swiss National Bank (SNB), Switzerland’s central bank, has earned CHF 388 million from negative interest rates since introducing them in 2014 to tame the rising strength of the Swiss Franc, according to the newspaper SonntagsBlick.

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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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