Category Archive: 3.) Swiss Info

Swiss digital stock exchange offers partners ownership stake

The Swiss stock exchange is offering strategic partners a stake of up to 30% in its new digital assets trading platform. The SDX digital exchange hopes to launch by the end of this year, trading digital shares, bonds and other assets on a distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform.

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Ermotti’s UBS record: solid but not all plain sailing

Sergio Ermotti arrived at UBS in 2011 during a dark chapter in the history of Switzerland’s largest bank. He will depart in November, nine years later, with a reputation for injecting greater stability but not for stamping out controversy. Ironically, UBS arguably faces some greater challenges than cross-town rival Credit Suisse, where earlier this month former CEO Tidjane Thiam was forced to step down unceremoniously following an internal spying...

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New Swiss aid budget proposes more funds but for fewer countries

The Swiss government wants to set aside CHF11.25 billion ($11.43 billion) in development aid for the 2021-2024 period. The governing Federal Council adopted its Strategy for International Cooperation on Wednesday after opening it up for public consultation. It will still have to be approved by parliament.

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Tax on legal weed repealed

The Swiss Federal Court has ruled that cannabis – the legal, low-THC version – should not be subject to the tobacco tax. Responding to the complaints of three cannabis production companies, the court found that there was no legal basis for a 25% tobacco tax on the sales price of cannabis. The tax will be dropped immediately.

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Car emissions rising due to imported guzzlers, says report 

New cars imported into Switzerland have not been respecting the prescribed norms on CO2 emissions, with emission levels actually rising in 2017 and 2018, says a report published on Tuesday. Nearly half of importers failed to meet compulsory targets in 2018, according to the Federal Office of the Environment’s report for parliament. 

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Swiss worry about online data protection, want increased regulation

A survey on digitalisation released this week shows people’s greatest concern revolves around the fate of their personal data, though just as many believe new technologies hold great promise, especially in the areas of medicine, education and smart cities

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Clariant to cut up to 600 jobs as profit falls

The Swiss specialty chemicals firm Clariant says it will cut up to 600 jobs to save money after a drop in profit in 2019. The firm expects the slow economic situation this year to continue to affect demand. “For 2020, given the current sluggish economic environment and continued adverse foreign exchange conditions, growth will be more limited and additional efficiency measures have been defined for each of the businesses to support the margin...

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Thiam ‘proud’ of his record as he departs Credit Suisse

Outgoing Credit Suisse chief executive Tidjane Thiam said he was proud of what he has achieved at the bank as it delivered strong 2019 results and a promising start to this year. Thiam handed in his resignation last week after losing the confidence of the board following a spying scandal that had seriously damaged the bank’s reputation. Thursday was Thiam’s last day in office.

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Investigation opened into Swiss encryption firm linked to CIA

The Swiss government has opened an investigation into a decades-old spying affair involving Swiss firm Crypto, following reports by Swiss public broadcaster SRF, German broadcaster ZDF and The Washington Post. The government confirmed on Tuesday that it had opened an investigation into the reports that Crypto, a Zug-based communications encryption firm, was secretly used by the CIA and West German intelligence services for decades.

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Welfare payments in 2018 averaged CHF10,379 per person

Net expenditure on social assistance in Switzerland increased by 1.3% in 2018 compared with the previous year. The government, cantons and municipalities paid out a total of CHF8.4 billion ($8.6 billion). Each recipient of social assistance received an average of CHF10,379, the Federal Statistical Office said in a statement on Tuesday. This is an increase of 2.4% on 2017.

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Credit Suisse chairman hopeful to see out term

The chairman of the Credit Suisse bank says he does not expect to be voted out of office before his term ends next year following the departure of the bank’s CEO on Friday amid a surveillance scandal. Urs Rohner says he has received “clear responses” from shareholders that they back the company board policy to accept CEO Tidjane Thiam decision to step down.

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Switzerland spends more than the EU on education

Switzerland’s public finances rose by 1.7% in 2018 to CHF232.6 billion ($238.8 billion) compared with 2017. As a percentage of the total, Switzerland spent more on education and less on defence than the European Union. The largest budget item remained social protection, costing almost CHF92 billion or 39.4% of the total, the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) said on Thursday.

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Credit Suisse falls back on Swiss roots to restore order

Credit Suisse’s board has defied the wishes of several major shareholders with the surprise axing of chief executive Tidjane Thiam. He has been replaced with Swiss national, and current head of the bank’s domestic operations, Thomas Gottstein.

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Should Swiss watchmakers join forces to stay globally competitive?

As Baselworld continues to face difficulties, the Swiss watch-making industry needs a new platform to showcase its know-how. With watchmakers going it alone with separate initiatives, one industry expert is pushing for a more collaborative effort to keep the industry thriving.

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Credit Suisse CEO surprises markets with shock resignation

Credit Suisse chief executive Tidjane Thiam has resigned from his post following a highly damaging spying scandal that has rocked Switzerland’s second largest bank. Thiam’s departure is nevertheless a surprise as most media expected chairman Urs Rohner to depart.

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Swiss fintech firms venture deeper into Middle East

Swiss fintech company Instimatch has launched into the Middle East, having won a licence to operate in Qatar, and signed up its first Kuwaiti bank. The mineral and cash-rich region is proving a magnet for financial innovation from Switzerland. Instimatchexternal link’s digital platform directly connects deep-pocketed corporate, financial and municipal lenders with global investments.

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Three Credit Suisse investors back Tidjane Thiam in board battle

Credit Suisse’s top shareholders have thrown their support behind chief executive Tidjane Thiam and called on chairman Urs Rohner to quit, in a high-stakes power struggle at the Swiss bank following a spy scandal last year. Relations between Mr Rohner and Mr Thiam have been increasingly strained since revelations that Credit Suisse hired a corporate espionage company to follow Iqbal Khan, a former executive who defected to arch-rival UBS.

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Food bank: a third of Swiss food ‘goes to waste’

About a third of the food produced for Swiss consumption went to waste last year, according to the food bank foundation Schweizer Tafe/Table Suisse. That is the equivalent of 2.6 million tonnes of food. Five percent of the losses occurred in the retail trade. The foundation collected 3,820 tonnes of food that was not for sale but still in perfect condition – a 5.6% increase relative to 2018.

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Study spotlights niche market for solo Chinese tourists

The tourism industry in central Switzerland could benefit from increased efforts to focus on individual holidaymakers from China, according to a study. A report by the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Artsexternal link found that guests from China travelling individually in Europe take a special interest in culinary events and that they are likely to receive information about new offers via their mobile phones. 

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Julius Bär to cut 300 jobs after 2019 profit drop

Swiss wealth manager Julius Bär will cut 300 jobs this year, its chief executive said on Monday, as it looks to boost profitability after a double-digit percentage earnings fall in 2019. The private bank wants to boost profitability with a new three-year strategy to deal with continued margin pressures, Philipp Rickenbacher said.

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