Tag Archive: Business

Swiss venture capital funding breaks CHF2 billion barrier

Swiss start-ups and young companies attracted nearly CHF2.3 billion ($2.4 billion) from deep-pocketed investors last year. The figure is nearly double the CHF1.2 billion collected in 2018 and sets a new record. New ventures in the ICT and fintech sectors received the largest slice of funding (CHF1.2 billion), but financial support for early stage biotech firms also received a significant boost (CHF625 million), according to the annual report from...

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Foreign demand remains high for luxury Swiss-made watches

Swiss watch manufacturers exported timepieces worth over CHF21 billion ($21.7 billion) last year – the industry’s third-best result ever. Watchmaking is Switzerland’s third-biggest export sector after pharmaceutical and machine tools. Almost 95% of production is sold abroad, the majority to Asia.

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Zurich Airport looks to Asia to expand its airports business

The company recently won a bid to build and run an airport near India’s capital and has its sights set on other emerging markets in Asia. In November 2019, Zürich Flughafen AG (Zurich Airport) won a 40-year contract to build and operate the planned Noida International Airport in Jewar, located around 80km from the country’s capital, New Delhi. 

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City rent prices leap despite Swiss-wide vacancies rising

Rental prices in Swiss cities became markedly more expensive last year even though vacancy rates are increasing in Switzerland. The latest study from real estate portal Homegate.ch reveals the disparity between urban and rural areas.

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Restructuring at Philip Morris to hit 265 jobs

Tobacco giant Philip Morris says 265 jobs in Switzerland will be affected by restructuring plans, of which almost two-thirds of posts may be transferred to other European sites. After much uncertainty and news speculation, Philip Morris (PMI) confirmed on Monday its restructuring plans at operational centres in Lausanne and Neuchâtel in French-speaking western Switzerland.

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Swiss watchdog bans former bank CEO over insider trading

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has banned the former chief executive officer of a Swiss bank from financial activities over a “serious case of insider trading”. FINMA also ordered the confiscation of CHF730,000 ($752,000) of “unlawfully generated profits” from the ex-CEO, whom FINMA did not name.

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Negative interest rates have cost Swiss banks CHF8 billion

Swiss banks have been forced to fork out CHF8 billion ($8.3 billion) in negative interest fees since the Swiss National Bank (SNB) imposed its policy in 2015. Last year saw the heftiest annual bill of CHF2 billion, according to research from German company Deposit Solutions.

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Neon banking app slashes fees in growth drive

Swiss financial services company Neon says it will scrap card fees for customers shopping abroad to spearhead an ambitious drive to boost the number of clients to 250,000 in the next two years. The Zurich-based fintech company has laid down a challenge to foreign competitors, such as Revolut and N26, with its announcement.

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Davos 2020: What to watch for at this year’s World Economic Forum

World leaders, chief executives, thinkers and celebrities are gathering in the Swiss mountain town of Davos for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. The event, which begins on Tuesday, has earned a reputation for high-altitude pontificating as the global elite gather to pitch their takes on topics picked by WEF founder Klaus Schwab, from deglobalisation to the fourth industrial revolution.

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‘Yes to an initiative promoting moderately-priced housing’

The free market in Switzerland has built housing units that remain empty because they are too expensive, or in out-of-the-way places, says Marina Carobbio Guscetti. The Social Democrat senator believes that the initiative "More affordable housing" will fix these problems. It will help the middle class and the less well-off.

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Swiss franc climbs after US adds it to ‘manipulation’ watchlist

The US Treasury has called on the Swiss government to cut taxes and spend more public money, after it added the country to a watchlist of those it accuses of currency manipulation. The Swiss franc nudged up to a near three-year high against the euro on Tuesday as markets anticipated the move would limit the Swiss National Bank’s appetite for aggressive action to try to hold down its currency in future.

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US places Switzerland on trade ‘watch list’

The US Treasury Department has put Switzerland back on a biannual list of countries that are under observation because of large trade surpluses with the United States. Switzerland was previously included on the Monitoring List between October 2016 and October 2018, “having a material current account surplus and engaged in persistent, one-sided intervention in the foreign exchange market”.

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Swiss researchers identify means to reduce risk of man-made earthquakes

Identifying the kind of fault or tectonic forces in an underground reservoir can reduce the risk of tremors caused by geothermal energy or carbon storage. The injection of cold pressurised water into hot impermeable rocks several kilometres underground is how underground reservoirs are created for geothermal energy.

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Trump to attend World Economic Forum in Switzerland

US President Donald Trump plans to attend the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos this month, making up for an appearance he cancelled during last year’s US government shutdown. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham confirmed on Wednesday that Trump would attend the annual forum, which attracts wealthy, high-profile business and political figures, along with academics and other leaders of...

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Swiss unions call for ‘social agenda’ in EU relations

Switzerland’s largest trade union group has repeated its warning that any framework deal reached with the European Union must respect measures to protect wages from cross-border competition. At the annual conference of the Swiss Trade Union Federation on Thursday, the objective of keeping wage measures in place was hammered home by group president Pierre-Yves Maillard.

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Swiss National Bank expects profit of CHF49 billion for 2019

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) expects to post an annual profit of CHF49 billion ($50.29 billion) for 2019, it said on Thursday, citing big gains from foreign bonds and stocks bought to dampen the value of the safe-haven Swiss franc. The profit, following a loss of CHF15 billion in 2018, means the central bank will pay out CHF2 billion to the Swiss government and cantons for last year and will hold discussions with the finance ministry on a possible...

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Swiss rents fall but property prices increase in 2019

Rents in Switzerland fell by an average of 0.5% last year but some regions bucked the trend. Last year was a good one for tenants, according to the Swiss Real Estate Offer Indexexternal link, which was published on Tuesday. December alone saw rents dropping 0.4% on average. The most significant drops were in central Switzerland (-1.7%), the Lake Geneva region (-1.1%) and northwestern Switzerland (-0.9%).

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Swatch offers compromise in watch movements deadlock

Switzerland’s largest watch maker, Swatch, says it will limit the number of movements it makes for the industry in a bid to end a long-running stand-off with the anti-trust regulator. At the end of last year, the Competition Commission (Comco) temporarily suspended deliveries of watch movements from Swatch’s ETA unit to big rivals from January 1, 2020.

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Facebook’s Libra has failed in current form, says Swiss president

Facebook’s Libra project needs reworking to be approved, according to the president of Switzerland, where the cryptocurrency is seeking regulatory consent. “I don’t think [Libra has a chance in its current form], because central banks will not accept the basket of currencies underpinning it,” Finance Minister Ueli Maurer, who held the rotating presidency in 2019, told Swiss public radio, SRF.

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Credit Suisse: FINMA appoints independent investigator

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA says it will have an independent auditor investigate Swiss bank Credit Suisse “in the context of observation activities”. “The observation activities carried out by Credit Suisse raise various compliance issues,” FINMA said in a statement on Friday evening.

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