Category Archive: 3) Swiss Markets and News

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Swiss to decide individually on Russian commodity deals

Switzerland will decide case by case whether to curtail traders' purchases from Russia's state-controlled companies under European Union sanctions. The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) which is in charge sanctions confirmed the Swiss policy to follow in principle the EU measures, which aim to limit commodity deals to those deemed "strictly necessary" from mid-May.

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Saying no to a tax on streaming companies in Switzerland

Should streaming services like Netflix be forced to support filmmakers in the countries where they operate? Under the the so-called “Lex Netflix” law, they will be required to invest 4% of their Swiss turnover in local productions.

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Crypto Nation Switzerland tackles workforce shortages

The rapidly expanding Swiss blockchain industry is facing growing pains: a limited supply of qualified workers to fill the expanding number of job vacancies. Universities are stepping up to meet the challenge by designing new courses around blockchain and decentralised finance.

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Swiss consumed 4.3 percent more electricity in 2021

The Alpine nation consumed 2.4 million kilowatt hours (kWh) more electricity in 2021, equivalent to the annual consumption of 479,800 households. “In addition to the pandemic-related 'compensatory effects' in the second quarter, general economic development, the weather and population development increased consumption in 2021,” said the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) on Thursday.

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Students demand a bitcoin education

A few years ago, during a bitcoin price rally, a colleague relayed a story about her husband attending a university lecture. He noticed several students glued to their smartphones. Peering over a few shoulders he saw they were more focused on crypto profits than the lecture.

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Swiss government prepares for electricity price shock

Switzerland’s leaders are concerned by the current volatility of electricity prices and have started planning for a potential disaster scenario, reported RTS. Photo by Pok Rie on Pexels.comThe war in Ukraine has impacted energy provision across Europe, said Swiss energy minister Simonetta Sommaruga on Thursday. Price movements have reached historical levels and could worsen if gas supplies from Russia stop. If the price of gas spikes, some...

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Are the days of morally neutral corporate decision-making over?

New rules of the game have consequences be they sanctions, laws, court rulings or even public opinion. The stakes have never been as high for multinationals when it comes to doing the right thing.  

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Swiss bail-out plan aims to prevent electricity crunch

The government has decided to prepare a bail-out plan for Switzerland’s main electricity companies to prevent an energy shortage.

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Swiss property market faces bleak future despite record values

The Covid-19 pandemic has failed to rattle the Swiss property market. Prices for apartment buildings have hit a record high. But now the war in Ukraine and rising interest rates threaten to turn the tide.

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No business can be right in a war that’s wrong

Western companies should end their business relations with Russia. It is their moral duty to contribute to peace-making by their actions, says a group of business ethicists in Switzerland and Austria.

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Upmarket Swiss hotel welcomes Ukrainian refugees

The four-star SeePark Hotel in the lakeside town of Murten in western Switzerland has opened its doors to refugees from the war in Ukraine. They get to stay for free in rooms that would normally cost more than CHF200 ($214) a night. The hotel is owned by a limited company of ethnic Russians based in western Europe. The hotel administrator, Ukrainian-born Lyudmyla Rigert, persuaded the director to help her compatriots fleeing the war. So far, 200...

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Former top Swiss banker convicted for fraud

A Swiss court has sentenced former Raiffeisen bank chief Pierin Vincenz to almost four years in prison for fraud, forgery of documents and criminal mismanagement. Judges on Wednesday handed down a jail sentence of 43 months as well as a suspended fine of CHF840,000 ($899,858). Vincenz was also ordered to refund CHF236,000.

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Switzerland misses greenhouse gas reduction target

Switzerland has narrowly missed its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 despite coronavirus lockdowns and an unusually warm winter.

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Swiss health insurance could jump by 9 percent next year

According to the newspaper Le Matin Swiss health insurance premiums could rise by 7% to 9%, reported RTS. The future rise in the cost of health insurance is estimated based on data on the rising healthcare costs being passed on to health insurance companies. According to the data, costs rose during the second half of 2021. Across all of 2021 costs were up by 5.1% and the trend appears to have continued.

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New Swiss bank pitches itself as digital, but not robotic

Switzerland’s shrinking banking universe has been bolstered by a new wealth management entrant, Alpian, which is aiming for the sweet spot between digital and human-centric services. Alpian has just secured a Swiss banking license along with a CHF19 million ($20.5 million) capital boost from the Italian banking group Intesa Sanpaolo.

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Swiss consumers spend big on organic products

The organic food market in Switzerland experienced slower growth in 2021 than the previous year. However, consumers are spending more than ever on organic products.

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Ukraine war no threat to Swiss banks, says financial watchdog

Switzerland’s financial market supervisor FINMA says the Russian invasion of Ukraine isn’t a wide-scale threat to Swiss financial firms’ business ties to Russia.

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Ukrainian refugees can benefit Swiss economy, says expert

Switzerland can cope with a large number of Ukrainian refugees, and their skills can benefit the economy, says migration expert Thomas Kessler. “The Ukrainian women will provide new impetus in this country,” he told the SonntagsBlick newspaper. “Especially in the IT sector, the Ukrainians are more advanced than Switzerland. In addition, it is normal in Ukraine for women to study natural sciences.”

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Bankruptcies rise as coronavirus bail-outs phase out

The number of companies and individuals declaring bankruptcy rose 9.1% last year, which coincided with a gradual withdrawal of state-backed financial support during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Ukraine refugees struggle to exchange cash into Swiss francs

Thousands of Ukrainian refugees are finding that Swiss banks are refusing to convert the cash they brought with them into francs.

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