Category Archive: 3.) Swiss Info

Swiss sustainable finance: world leader or wishful thinking?

The Swiss financial centre wants to take a lead in ethical investing. NGOs, however, fear the banks are more interested in cashing in than saving the planet. One thing everyone agrees on is the need for a universal definition of sustainable finance and measures to oversee the sector.

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New cars on Swiss roads failed to meet emissions targets

Fuel consumption and emissions limits for new cars in Switzerland missed their target in 2019 for the fourth year in a row. This resulted in sanctions totalling CHF78 million for car importers.

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Novartis pays big fine for bribing doctors in the US

Swiss pharma company Novartis will pay $729 million (CHF688 million) to US authorities in an out-of-court settlement over various charges, including that the company bribed doctors to use its drugs.

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Fewer cows, more cars: Switzerland misses its emission targets

Switzerland’s emissions have declined over the last 30 years, but not enough to meet the national targets set for 2020. What’s behind the gap? By 2020, greenhouse gas emissions in Switzerland should be down by 20% from what they were in 1990. That’s the target outlined in the federal CO2 law.

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Swiss government extends coronavirus economic support

The Federal Council is extending short-term unemployment benefits by another six months and plans to help cushion financial losses faced by public transport. On Wednesday, the government announced that it is extending the maximum period for receiving partial unemployment support from 12 to 18 months to counteract a rise in unemployment.

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SWISS slowly expands web of destinations from Zurich and Geneva

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) has published its flight schedules up to October 24, the end of the summer timetable. As well as resuming service to more network destinations, it plans to intensify its frequencies on routes already restored in both its short-haul and long-haul networks.

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Tally Weijl to close quarter of stores

Swiss fashion chain Tally Weijl will close 200 of its 800 stores internationally and withdraw completely from Bulgaria. In Switzerland, it will close between five and ten of its 81 stores. However, the company says it has secured financing.

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Hands-off regulation of sustainable finance draws mixed response

Extra rules will only be imposed on the sustainable finance sector if banks fail to properly police themselves, says the Swiss government. The hands-off regulatory approach to ethical investing has been welcomed by financial players, but criticised by NGOs. Unveiling a report on sustainable finance on Friday, Finance Minister Ueli Maurer said legislators would stay in the background as a last resort measure.

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Swiss gold industry oversight too weak, say auditors

The Swiss gold refining industry has once again come under scrutiny with a report that criticises the lack of control over imports of the precious metal. The Federal Audit Office says it is too easy for illegal imports to enter the country and that sanctions are inadequate.

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Audit office denies ‘mass phenomenon’ of Covid-19 credit abuse

An interim report on government pay-outs to businesses during the Covid-19 crisis has revealed that there is suspected abuse in less than 1% of cases. Тhe Federal Audit Office investigated some 94,000 coronavirus loans amounting to CHF11.4 billion ($12 billion). It found indications of abuse in about 400 cases, which amounts to about CHF88 million in guarantees.

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Job postings fall by 27 percent due to pandemic

New job offers have dropped by over a quarter in Switzerland due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with hotel, restaurant, and personal services sectors worst hit. Between April and June, job postings went down by 27%, the human resources firm Adecco Switzerland reported on Tuesday.

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A Swiss-Japanese alliance that has thrived in the crisis

It was the start of one of the most unusual cross-cultural marriages when Roche bought a controlling stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical for $1.4bn back in 2002, promising arm’s length management. In the course of the 18 months of negotiations it took to reach a deal, Chugai, a Japanese pioneer in biotechnology, presented a single sheet of paper with a list of conditions it would not budge on, the main ones being management autonomy and the continued...

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Swiss public transport expected to lose CHF1.5 billion due to Covid-19

The collapse in the number of commuters and other passengers on Swiss trains and buses due to the pandemic is likely to leave a big hole in the finances of public transport companies. The Le Matin Dimanche and SonntagsZeitung newspapers reported on Sunday that Alliance SwissPass, the national public transport organisation, expects the number of yearly national train passes to fall by 6% and half-price annual passes to drop by 1% by the end of the...

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Glencore faces Swiss probe over alleged Congo corruption

The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) has opened a criminal probe into Swiss-based commodity trader and miner Glencore over alleged corruption in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where it mines copper and cobalt.

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SoftBank invests in Credit Suisse funds financing technology bets

SoftBank has quietly poured more than $500m into Credit Suisse investment funds that in turn made big bets on the debt of struggling start-ups backed by the Japanese technology conglomerate’s Vision Fund. SoftBank made the investment into the Swiss bank’s $7.5bn range of supply-chain finance funds, said three people familiar with the matter.

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Fintech firm Achiko hits Cayman-related compliance problems

Cayman Islands fintech company Achiko has run into “compliance issues” just months after listing on the Swiss stock exchange. The firm has called a meeting of shareholders this week to approve a plan to create a Swiss company and re-list the shares from this entity.

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100 Swiss watch brands risk extinction due to coronavirus, expert says

The coronavirus crisis could eliminate up to 100 Swiss watch brands from the market, according to an expert interviewed by the German-language weekly NZZamSonntag. Production came to a standstill during the pandemic and the most important export markets collapsed. Whether tourists with purchasing power will return to Switzerland remains in question. The watch industry, notes the newspaper, has been “caught in the perfect storm”.

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Swiss forests are healthy but need better management

Despite threats such as drought and insects, Swiss forests are better equipped to handle natural hazards than they were a decade ago. Not content to mind her own business, Susan studied journalism in Boston so she’d have the perfect excuse to put herself in other people’s shoes and worlds. When not writing, she presents and produces podcasts and videos.

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Expats in Switzerland need even deeper pockets

Three Swiss cities – Zurich, Bern and Geneva – are among the ten most expensive in the world for expatriates, according to the annual Cost of Living survey by consultants Mercer. Hong Kong remains at the top of the list of 209 countries for the third year in a row. Six of the top ten are in Asia, three in Switzerland and one in the United States.

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Swiss Post set to relaunch its e-voting system

The controversial issue of e-voting is back: Swiss Post, which had halted the development of a project in July 2019, has bought a Spanish-owned system and plans to propose a platform ready for testing by 2021.

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