Tag Archive: Business

Novartis chief hints at job cuts in Switzerland

The president of pharmaceutical giant Novartis has announced job cuts in an interview with Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag. Jörg Reinhardt said the Basel-based company wants to streamline its production sites and administration worldwide.

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Minister says state-guaranteed cantonal banks complicate EU talks

Swiss finance minister Ueli Maurer says state-guaranteed cantonal banks are an obstacle in ongoing negotiations with the European Union. “This point still needs to be clarified before a framework agreement can be accepted,” the minister is quoted as saying in an interview published on Saturday.

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Swiss cantons forced to fish for multinationals with non-tax lures

Proposed changes to Switzerland’s tax rules could have a dramatic effect on which cantons remain attractive locations for multinational companies in future. As a result, factors such as the cost of premises or concentration of high tech facilities, will play a greater role, according to UBS bank.

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SkyWork lands its last ever plane in Bern Airport

The last SkyWork flight landed in Bern Airport on Wednesday night, as ongoing financial difficulties forced the company to declare itself bankrupt. Some 11,000 passengers are affected. The company, founded in 1983, cited the failure of negotiations with a potential partner to pull the company from recurring funding shortfalls that intensified in October last year.

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Ongoing roadblocks stifle growth of Swiss banks

Swiss banks are withstanding the pressure of ongoing headwinds, but real progress continues to be stalled by political and economic roadblocks, the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) said on Thursday. Releasing its annual Banking Barometer, which measures the performance of the sector in 2017, the SBA found that aggregate profits (profits minus losses) across Switzerland’s 253 banks rose by nearly a quarter to CHF9.8 billion ($10.1 billion).

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COMCO declines to investigate watchmakers over cartel claims

The Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO) has decided not to open a formal investigation into watchmakers including Swatch, LVMH and Richemont over the supply of spare parts for independent watch repair shops.

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Government Reinforces Critical Infrastructure against Cyber Attacks

In the wake of several major cyber security attacks, the government has released minimum standards for companies and organisations to help protect the country’s critical energy, food, and water infrastructure. Some critics question whether a minimum standard goes far enough as basic services become increasingly dependent on digital technology.

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Swiss back at the top in small arms trade transparency

Switzerland has come out top in a ranking about the world’s most transparent small arms exporters. With a score of 21.75 out of a possible 25 points, Switzerland came first ahead of the Netherlands, Britain, Italy and Serbia, according to the 2018 Transparency Barometerexternal link, published on Wednesday.

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Swiss cereal harvests set to drop in 2018 after hot weather

Bread wheat, barley, and rapeseed harvests look set to be considerably lower in Switzerland in 2018 compared to previous years, due to the prolonged heat and drought-like conditions this summer. The figures, collected by the Swiss granum organization, were based on data supplied by 29 cereal collection centres, covering 35% of the Swiss barley market, 50% of the bread wheat market, and 55% of the rapeseed market.

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Zurich scientists urge state pension fund to divest from fossil fuels

Professors and researchers from Zurich’s Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) have joined the chorus of civil society actors calling for the Swiss state pension fund to divest from fossil fuels. In a letter to Publica, one of the largest pension funds in Switzerland, 166 experts from ETH Zurich, including 128 professors, demanded it stop investing in climate-damaging companies within five years.

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Zurich bank settles tax evasion probe with US

The Zürcher Kantonalbank (ZKB) has agreed to pay the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) $98.5 million (CHF97.7 million) to resolve a long-running investigation into its role in tax evasion by wealthy Americans using undeclared Swiss bank accounts.

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Swiss public transport given good cost-effectiveness marks

Using public transport infrequently in Switzerland is expensive, but thanks to new special offers such as “early bird” rates Switzerland does well when it comes to value for money, according to an international study. “Travelling by train, bus or boat is expensive in Switzerland,” is a common refrain among Swiss people – and especially tourists.

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Fat Cattle Force Farmers to Call for ‘New Model Cow’

Many Swiss cows are getting too heavy for soft Alpine pastures, too wide for their stalls and too gluttonous for their owners. An interest group is now calling for cows to be bred that are smaller, lighter and more easily sated.

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Robot-built pergola showcases Swiss digital fabrication skills

Istituto Svizzero, the Swiss cultural centre in Rome, gets some welcome shade thanks to a computer-designed, robot-built pergola. The four-metre tall construction was inaugurated in June and was the handiwork of 17 architecture students at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ). The pergola was put together without using nails, glue or screws.

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Traffic jams cost Swiss more than just time

Various costs related to traffic jams totalled CHF1.9 billion ($1.9 billion) in 2015, up 7% from 2010, according to the Swiss Office for Spatial Development. In a statement released on Wednesday (link in French, German and Italian), the office said that costs stemming from wasted time accounted for 70% of the losses, having increased by 14% since 2010. However, other costs related to the climate (+12%) and the environment (+3%) also increased...

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CEO of Baselworld steps down

The head of the world’s largest watch and jewellery trade show, the Swiss-based Baselworld, has handed in his resignation amid a row over the departure of several exhibitors. The MCH Group announced that CEO Peter Kamm would resign from his position “in view of the fundamental transformation phase in business operations”.

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Swiss court blocks French request for UBS banking data

Switzerland’s Federal Administrative Court has ordered the Federal Tax Administration (FTA) not to provide France with details about 40,000 UBS bank clients with French addresses. In May 2016, the French tax authorities requested administrative assistance from the FTA. They wanted details about UBS clients who lived or had lived in France.

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IT made compulsory for upper secondary pupils

Computer science has become obligatory at Swiss upper secondary schools, as the country seeks to plug its information technology (IT) skills gap. These schools (Gymnasium/lyceé/liceo), whose pupils typically go on to university, have until the school year 2022/3 to introduce the compulsory lessons, under a regulation change that came into force on August 1. Previously, IT had the status of a non-obligatory supplementary subject.

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Central bank back in the black after shaky 2018 start

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) has reported strong profits for the first half of the year, largely thanks to a weakening franc and gains in the foreign currency market. The results, published in an SNB press releaseon Tuesday, show overall profits of CHF5.11 billion ($5.17 billion) for the first six months of 2018, compared with CHF1.22 billion the previous year.

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Swatch Group withdraws from Baselworld

With the departure of its largest exhibitor from 2019, it’s yet another setback for the world’s largest watch and jewellery trade show, which has seen participation dwindle in recent years.

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