Tag Archive: Business

Recession is unavoidable, reckon Swiss finance bosses

The coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally changed the economic outlook for Switzerland within a very short period of time, with Swiss CFOs more pessimistic than ever before. Neither during the euro crisis nor during the Swiss franc shock were chief financial officers as negative about economic prospects as they are today, according to the latest half-yearly survey published on Monday by consultants Deloitte.

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Swiss hospitals reportedly running out of money

Cash-strapped Swiss hospitals, in the front line of the fight against coronavirus, are calling for financial help and an end to the ban on non-emergency procedures which has sapped revenue, reports the SonntagsZeitung newspaper. It quotes the director of Valais Hospital Hugo Burgener as saying “we need liquidity to pay salaries”, and writes that the Graubünden cantonal hospital will also have to raise an additional CHF20 million ($20 million) in...

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Swiss watch exports predicted to fall by 25 percent in 2020

The closure of shops caused by the spread of the coronavirus worldwide will cost Swiss watch firms dear, but exports are expected to rebound next year. “The Swiss watch industry will experience the largest decline in the past 50 years,” says a study published by private bank Vontobel on Wednesday.

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Swiss commodities sector grapples with Covid-19 turbulence

The strategic importance of commodities and experience in handling fluctuations has helped commodity firms weather the coronavirus storm better than most. swissinfo.ch caught up with Florence Schurch, general secretary of The Swiss Trading and Shipping Association (STSA), to find out how the commodities sector is handling the crisis and what it means for Switzerland.

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EasyJet Switzerland seeks state aid as virus empties skies

Airlines around the world are battling to survive the coronavirus pandemic. After grounding its fleet of planes on Monday, EasyJet Switzerland has confirmed that it is hoping to receive Swiss state aid. EasyJet said on Monday that it had grounded its fleet of 344 planes and had no clear idea when it might resume flights. In Switzerland, the airline normally operates flights to Geneva, Basel-Mulhouse and Zurich airports.

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Swiss real estate market suffers fallout from epidemic

The Covid-19 crisis could spell an end to the previously rosy situation for Switzerland’s real estate investors. Investors in residential property look back on a successful 2019 both in terms of value increase and of returns. Forecasts for the current year were optimistic until recently, for both property owners and renters.

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Swiss firms rush to claim emergency coronavirus loans

A third of a CHF20 billion ($21 billion) fund offering state guaranteed loans to small and medium sized Swiss companies has been used up just four days after being introduced. The loan facility has already promised CHF6.6 billion in funding of up to CHF500,000 to nearly 32,000 firms – an average of CHF207,000 per company.

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Record exports drive up Swiss chocolate sales

The value of Swiss chocolate exports topped CHF1 billion ($1.05 billion) for the first time last year, led by increased demand from Canada, the United States, China, the Middle East and Singapore. Domestic consumption of the delicacy also grew slightly following declining demand in previous years. Sales for Swiss chocolate makers rose 2.2% in 2019 to reach almost CHF1.79 billion.

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France drops blocks on face mask exports to Switzerland

After Germany, France has lifted restrictions on the delivery of hygienic face masks to Switzerland. Some two million masks are needed each day, according to the Federal Office for Public Health. The French embassy to Switzerland made the announcementexternal link on Saturday, paving the way for two shipments of FFP2 hygienic masks to go ahead from France to Switzerland.

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Companies contemplate bleak coronavirus outlook

Swiss companies are reporting slumping sales, cashflow problems and bottlenecks in the supply of crucial materials as the coronavirus crisis hits the economy. However, a survey also found that three out of four firms are satisfied with a CHF42 billion ($43 billion) state bailout package.

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Switzerland faces recession in 2020 due to pandemic, experts warn

Switzerland is headed towards a severe recession this year due to the economic fallout of the coronavirus, experts warn. If the pandemic is brought under control, the Swiss economy should rebound strongly in 2021.

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Big reductions in Swiss public transport services

Swiss public transport has been widely reduced as of Monday, with the Federal Railways cutting back on services as part of nationwide anti-coronavirus measures. The scaling back of Europe’s most-used rail network in an effort to combat the spread of Covid-19 was announced last week as part of wider measures to reduce social contact and slow down the pace of life in the country.

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Sygnum bank creates digital version of Swiss franc for trading

Sygnum bank has launched a digital version of the Swiss franc (DCHF) to allow faster payments when trading a new breed of securities. The DCHF digital tokens will be backed by the corresponding amount of Swiss francs that Sygnum will hold at the Swiss National Bank (SNB).

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Further billions may be needed to save Swiss companies

A CHF42 billion coronavirus financial aid package may not be enough to save firms from extinction, warn business leaders and economists. The state could be saddled with a bill three times higher if the crisis drags on until the end of the year.

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Swiss central bank resists temptation to reduce interest rates

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) has kept interest rates unchanged at -0.75% but is easing the burden on commercial banks. The SNB said on Thursday that it is also intervening on the foreign exchange markets to keep the franc from appreciating too far, too fast.

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Banks lobby regulators to relax post-crisis rules

The global banking industry is demanding regulators relax or delay a raft of post-crisis rules on everything from capital and liquidity to accounting and climate change, which they argue are hampering their ability to respond to the coronavirus crisis.

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Coronavirus catches managers off guard

The coronavirus has laid bare the fragilities and complex dependencies generated by globalisation. American-Swiss professor Suzanne de Treville, a specialist in helping firms relocate their industrial activities to the west, hopes that this crisis will trigger some major soul-searching.

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Enough food for months, government assures

The Swiss authorities say there are food stocks available to consumers for more than four months to cope with the current coronavirus epidemic. “There is no reason to panic over food,” the government’s delegate for national economic supply, Werner Meier, said in an interview published on Wednesday in various newspapers belonging to the CH Media group.

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Swiss industry fears consequences of US travel ban

A United States ban on travellers from Europe has been condemned as “incomprehensible” by leading Swiss manufacturing association, Swissmem. The Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce has also weighed in, saying firms would seriously suffer if borders remain closed for longer than a month.

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Swiss lawyers seek to keep special ‘advisor’ status in the shadow economy

The Swiss government faces resistance to efforts to tighten anti-money laundering rules that close loopholes for lawyers who act as “advisors” in setting up offshore financial structures. Anti-corruption expert Mark Pieth writes how the lawyer lobby in Switzerland is trying to maintain their special status at the expense of Switzerland’s attempts to improve its reputation as a laundering haven.

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