Tag Archive: Business

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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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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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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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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Lockdown led to big jump in worker productivity

Thanks to more focus and flexibility, productivity per worker increased by up to 16% during the Covid-19 lockdown in Switzerland, a study has calculated. The study by the Swiss Trade Association (SGV), reported in the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper, found that while hours worked dropped by 10% in the first quarter of 2020, GDP sank by just 2.6%.

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WEF unveils dual physical and virtual Davos summit in 2021

The World Economic Forum (WEF) annual conference in Davos will take place in January with fewer physical participants – but with a new “virtual” connection to more than 400 cities around the world.

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NGOs urge Swiss banks to ease developing country debt

A group of 11 NGOs has called on Swiss banks and government ministries to consider offering relief on billions in debt owed by developing nations. The consortium says that the coronavirus pandemic has increased economic pressure on the poorest countries.

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Davos aims to coax elite out of isolation in January

The World Economic Forum has vowed to hold its annual meeting in Davos in January, testing the willingness of a globetrotting elite to resume the high-powered networking that has been frozen by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Credit Suisse grants CHF2.8 billion in corona credit

Major Swiss bank Credit Suisse has issued 15,400 emergency loans totaling CHF2.8 billion ($2.9 billion) during the coronavirus crisis, says board chairman Urs Rohner. The numbers are similar at competitor UBS.

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Saint-Gobain to drop its shareholding in Swiss chemical maker Sika

The French building materials and distribution group Saint-Gobain has announced the sale of its 10.75% stake in the capital of the Swiss chemical manufacturer Sika.

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2021 Geneva Motor Show ‘very uncertain’ as organisers reject loan

The 2021 edition of the Geneva International Motor Show remains touch and go after the organisers rejected the terms surrounding a state rescue loan. This year’s car show was cancelled four days prior to its opening due to the coronavirus outbreak, costing an estimated loss of CHF11 million ($11.3 million) for the organisers of Switzerland’s largest public event.

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Swiss industry endured horror April during pandemic peak

Swiss watch exports slumped by over 80% last month, recording sales of just CHF329 million ($339 million) – compared with CHF1.76 billion in April 2019. Both exports and imports in all industries endured a predictably dire performance as Covid-19 resulted in national lockdowns.

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Coronavirus fuels Swiss bicycling surge

While demand for public transport collapsed during Switzerland's partial lockdown, bicycle usage soared across the country. But greater acceptance of cycling nationwide will depend on further political decisions and transport planning.

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Tourism industry told to adapt to new travel habits

Going on holiday in one’s own country and in the countryside, in smaller groups and sometimes with restrictions – this is the new reality to which the tourism industry must adapt, according to a study by the University of St Gallen.

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Airfare refunds remain a sticking point

The head of a major Swiss travel agency has complained that Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) is not helping to reimburse clients fast enough. In the event of cancellations such as those prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic, Swiss package tour operators are legally obliged to provide refunds. But according to Thomas Stirnimann, the chief executive officer of Hotelplan, SWISS is not repaying the travel agents promptly.

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Swiss maker of clean aviation fuel gets boost from Lufthansa

The Lufthansa Group has entered a partnership with the Swiss solar fuel developer Synhelion. The Swiss start-up is working to produce a fuel that emits 50% less CO2 by 2022 and plans to market a 100% renewable fuel in 2030.

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Swiss finance minister concerned about Covid-19 debt crisis in Europe

Ueli Maurer has warned that the financial crisis following Covid-19 and the resulting instability in Europe are a danger for Switzerland. In an interview with public broadcaster RTS on Tuesday, he said that he is concerned about the repercussions on Switzerland of a possible debt crisis in certain countries, especially Italy.

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