Category Archive: 3.) Investec

Jobless in Switzerland after 55 – most end up longterm unemployed

Age discrimination in the Swiss job market appears to be getting worse. Between 2010 and 2016, the number of over 55s on welfare increased by 50.5%, something that cannot be fully explained by an aging population. The population aged between 56 and 64 only increased by 11.6% over the same period.

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Swiss federal finances – surplus of billions in 2017

While many national governments, such as the US and UK, regularly spend more than they collect, Switzerland managed a CHF 2.8 billion surplus in 2017. In addition, CHF 2 billion of withholding tax is expected, which would push the surplus up to CHF 4.8 billion.

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Geneva to Zurich for half the price of a Swiss train

Switzerland’s transport authority (OFT) recently gave Domo Swiss Express SA, a Zurich-based bus company, a green light to run three routes across Switzerland. The first will run from Zurich to Lugano, via Basel and Luzern, the second from St. Gallen to Geneva airport, via Zurich and Bienne, and the third from Chur to Sion, via Zurich and Bern. Services are expected to run twice daily.

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Coop boycotts 150 Nestlé products over price disagreement

According to Swiss broadcaster RTS, Swiss retailer Coop, along with five other members of AgeCore SA, a Geneva-based purchasing alliance, have decided to boycott a large number of Nestlé products in the hope of striking a better deal on price. Sales to AgeCore SA members, which include Coop in Switzerland, Intermarché in France, Edeka in Germany, Conad in Italy, Colruyt in Belgium and Eroski in Spain, represents around 10% of Nestlé’s sales in...

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Vaud – vote on divisive dental tax and care plan

On 4 March 2018, voters in Vaud will vote on a plan to provide basic universal dental care funded by a tax on salaries. The initiative entitled: Reimbursement of dental care, Pour le remboursement des soins dentaires in French, claims that 10% of the population avoid the dentist because of the cost. They also claim links between poor dental health and cancer, diabetes and premature births. Their plan envisages the creation of a network of...

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Switzerland tops latest financial secrecy index

While Switzerland isn’t the most financially secretive nation in the Tax Justice Network’s recently published report, its combination of size and secrecy pushed it into first place, the worst rank in the Financial Secrecy Index 2018. Size is factored in because it measures the damage a nation’s financial secrecy has on the world, says The Tax Justice Network.

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Ticket cheats in Switzerland soon to be listed in a national register

Tickets cannot be bought on public transport in Switzerland. Passengers are required to have a ticket before boarding. Those caught on public transport without one will soon have their names put into a national register. This will ensure progressively higher fines are issued to repeat offenders.

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Swiss real estate risk falls two quarters in a row, says UBS

The UBS Swiss Real Estate Bubble Index declined in the last quarter of 2017, the second quarterly decline in a row. Prices are considered balanced when the index reaches zero. Between zero and 1 is considered a price boom, between 1 and 2 is considered at risk and above 2 a bubble. At the end of 2017 the index sat at 1.32, still in the zone where there is a risk of a price correction.

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Swiss cross-border shopping not always worth it, says study

In 2015, Swiss residents made 24 million shopping trips abroad. The average Swiss-based cross-border shopper travelled 69 kilometres to shop in a neighbouring country, 55 kilometres further than they did when shopping in Switzerland, according to a study published by Credit Suisse.

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Push to extend shop opening hours to 8pm in Geneva

The Swiss People’s Party (UDC/SVP) in Geneva wants shopping hours in Geneva to be standardized and extended. In general, French-speaking Switzerland has stricter laws on opening hours that the rest of Switzerland. For example a Migros store in Zurich is open until 9pm every night except Sunday. A similar store in Geneva is only open until 9pm one day a week. The rest of the week it shuts between 6pm and 7:30pm.

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A quarter of Swiss workers stressed and exhausted, according to new research

Around a quarter of Swiss workers are stressed and exhausted, according to new research. A three-year study by the University of Bern and Zurich University of Applied Sciences, which covers the period from 2014 to 2016, estimates that this stress and exhaustion cost Swiss companies between CHF 5 and CHF 5.8 billion a year.

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Swiss fact: nearly half of Swiss rental properties owned by individuals

If you rent a home in Switzerland it is more likely to belong to an individual than a big real estate company or pension fund. In 2017, 49% of residential rental properties in Switzerland were owned by individuals, according to Statistics published by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office. The highest rate of rental home ownership by individuals was in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino (71%). The lowest rate was in the Lake Geneva region (41%).

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Income inequality in Switzerland remains stable after redistribution

Income inequality in Switzerland has remained stable according to a report published by Switzerland’s Federal Statistical Office. A key measure of inequality involves dividing the income share of the top 20% by that of the bottom 20%, a measure known as S80/S20. 1 is complete equality.

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New poll on vote to axe Swiss broadcast fee suggests rejection

A poll run by the media group Tamedia shows a clear majority in favour of rejecting the initiative, dubbed “No Billag”, which aims to end Switzerland’s broadcasting fee. This poll follows one done in December 2017, which showed a majority in favour of the initiative.

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Budget busting burgers – Swiss franc still the most overvalued

The Economist has just published its January 2018 Big Mac index, a light-hearted measure of whether currencies are under or overvalued. The underlying assumption is that a Big Mac is the same whether bought in Kiev or Chur, so any price difference must be due to the exchange rate.

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Swiss fact: health insurance premiums cover only 37percent of Swiss healthcare costs

Figures published in 2017 show that only 37% of Swiss healthcare costs were covered by basic compulsory health insurance premiums. The remaining cost was covered by the government (20%), accident and social insurance (10%), private complementary health insurance (7%), charity (1%) and out-of-pocket spending by individuals (26%).

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Swiss fact: nearly 50 percent of Swiss GDP comes from 4 cantons

Switzerland is made up of 26 cantons – technically six are half cantons1 – each with its own distinct taxes, education system, hospitals and government. Land area varies significantly, from 37 sq/km Basel-Stadt to 7,105 sq/km Graubünden.

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Swiss franc could hit 1.22 by year end, according to economists

According to Le Matin, economists at Swiss Life think the rise of the Swiss franc could be over and predict it will weaken to 1.22 to the euro by the end of the year. At the same time they point to risks that could send the currency in the opposite direction, such as the election in Italy, Brexit negotiations and uncertainty surrounding government in Germany.

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The number of people on welfare continues to rise in Switzerland

In 2016, around 273,000 people, 3.3% of the population, received welfare in Switzerland. The number (not the rate) was 2.9% higher than the year before and 15.7% higher than 5 years earlier when the rate was 3.0%. Rates of those receiving government aid varied significantly by canton, ranging from 0.8% in Appenzell Innerrhoden to 7.4% in Neuchâtel.

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Switzerland has more job vacancies than jobseekers

Speaking to Tages-Anzeiger, Cornel Müller, director of marketing at x28, Switzerland’s largest job search aggregator, said there was a large jump in the number of jobs available in Switzerland compared to one year ago.

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