Category Archive: 3.) Investec

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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Geneva blocks the erection of 5G mobile antennas

Last week, Antonio Hodgers, the head of Geneva’s executive, announced a ban on the erection of further 5G mobile antennas in the canton, according to an interview on RTS. Motivated by uncertainty on the potential health effects of the new technology, the temporary freeze is the most the cantonal government can do to stop the rollout of the technology.

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Switzerland slides one place in 2019 press freedom ranking

In 2019, Switzerland lost one place slipping from 5th to 6th place out of 180, according to the latest world ranking of press freedom by the organisation Reporters Without Borders. The change was largely driven by the stronger performance of Denmark, which moved up into 5th place.

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Swiss vote could cause chaos at Zurich and Geneva airports

A referendum on revising gun laws scheduled for 19 May 2019 could cause major disruption at airports in Zurich and Geneva if it succeeds, according to various newspapers.If the vote passes it might eventually lead to the exclusion of Switzerland from the Schengen area.

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The 3 things driving Geneva’s residents to shop in France

A recent study by Geneva’s department of economic development (DDE) looks at the shopping habits of its residents and the residents of neighbouring Vaud and neighbouring France – an area including Nyon and parts of the French Ain and Haute Savoie regions.

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Switzerland’s workforce participation – Swiss versus foreigners

In 2018, 68.5% of the nation’s residents aged 15 or older was working, 1.5% more than in 2010. This rise was largely driven by an increase in the percentage of women in the workforce. In 2010, 60.0% were working. By 2018, 62.9% were, a rise of 2.9%. On the other hand, the overall percentage of men working declined slightly (-0.1%) to reach 74.2% by 2018.

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Swisscom switches on its 5G mobile network

This week, Swisscom became the first Swiss mobile phone company to switch on its 5G network, according to a press release. Swisscom spokesperson, Esther Hüsler, said that at midnight on Wednesday Swisscom flipped the switch to become the first Swiss operator to put its 5G network into service. It’s 5G network went live across 102 locations across the country, including most of Switzerland’s cities.

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Swiss unemployment above northern european average

Switzerland is often assumed to have low unemployment. However, there are many countries in Europe with lower rates. There are several ways to measure unemployment. The official measure in Switzerland is focused on those officially registered as unemployed still collecting unemployment benefits, a measure that delivers a lower figure than the one calculated by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

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Swiss test finds toxic substances in e-cigarettes

Testing commissioned by Blue Cross, a Swiss organisation focused on helping those with addictions, found toxic substances in the Iqos electronic cigarette produced by Philip Morris, according to the newspaper 20 Minutes.

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Income inequality declines in Switzerland

In 2016, before the effects of taxes and welfare, the highest earning 20% of Swiss households made on average 40.8 times what an average household in the bottom 20 percent made, an inequality measure known as the S80/S20. However, after taxes and welfare, including low income support, health insurance subsidies, pensions and disability benefits, the same income ratio fell to 4.4.

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Steep drop in thefts in Switzerland

Comparing 2018 to 2012, thefts in Switzerland fell by nearly half, according to the Federal Statistical Office. In 2012, there were a record 219,000 thefts recorded in Switzerland. By 2018, the figure had fallen to 112,000, a drop of 49%.

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Million franc salaries cause friction in Bern

Switzerland’s government recently voted for a ceiling on the salaries of those managing public companies such as Swisscom, Swiss Post, Skyguide and Swiss Rail. In response, the board of Swiss Rail wrote to the Federal Council requesting it to soften its position. From 2020, the company wants to pay its nine senior managers CHF 5.89 million, including a salary of more than CHF 1 million to Andreas Meyer, the boss of the company.

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Facebook rejects most information requests from Swiss authorities

Over the first three months of 2018 Switzerland’s authorities made 80 requests for Facebook user data, however two thirds of them were rejected, according to the newspaper SonntagsBlick as reported in 20 Minutes. When the requests were urgent the response rate rose to two thirds of requests.

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Swiss Rail shares bumper profits with passengers

In 2018, Swiss Rail made a profit of CHF 568 million, 42.5% more than in 2017. Part of the rise was due to higher than average spending on maintenance in 2017. It is worth noting that Swiss Rail receives a large sum from taxpayers every year. In 2018, the company received CHF 3.5 billion of public funding, CHF 2.7 billion of it booked as income.

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