Tag Archive: Business

Swiss take the Train more often, and further, than European Neighbours

The latest Europe-wide figures confirm Switzerland’s reputation as a country of trains, with average trips and kilometres covered per habitant far higher than elsewhere. Some 72 trips and 2,463 kilometres: this was the average train time for each Swiss resident in 2016, according to Eurostat figures reported Tuesday by Litraexternal link, the Swiss information service for public transport.

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Swiss investments in Turkey drop by half

The severe policies of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have led to Swiss companies decreasing their investments in Turkey by 50% compared to the average over the past decade, Swiss Public Television SRF reports. Over the last ten years, Swiss companies have on average invested some CHF200 million ($202 million) in Turkish markets, but today the figures amount to roughly half that.

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Study finds Swiss economy is looking up, but risks abound

Switzerland's GDP is on track this year to increase by 2.9%, according to a forecast by Zurich's KOF Swiss Economic Institutepublished Wednesday. This positive outlook is tempered by concerns over the potentially negative impact of global trade wars and a no-deal Brexit on the neutral nation.

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Strong Swiss agricultural output recorded despite droughts

Swiss agricultural production is up in 2018, driven largely by bigger hauls of wine, fruit and milk, according to the latest official statistics. Productivity is also on the rise. The yearly production estimate of CHF10.6 billion ($10.7 billion) released on Tuesday by the Federal Statistical Office represents an increase of 2.7% on 2017 figures.

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Tax amnesty ends for undeclared EU assets

The automatic exchange of information between Switzerland and the European Union came into effect on Monday. Owning property abroad without declaring it will no longer be possible. The deadline of September 30 ended the possibility of coming forward voluntarily, reported Swiss public television, RTS, on Sunday. For latecomers who have assets outside Switzerland and who failed to declare them, doing so now can no longer be considered voluntary.

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Switzerland increases employment permits for non-EU workers

The Swiss authorities have responded to demands from companies and cantons for access to highly-skilled employees by granting 1,000 extra permits for workers that come from outside the European Union from next year. From 2019, firms will be able to recruit 8,500 foreign workers from countries such as the United States, China and India.

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UBS lays out cities most at risk of overheated property markets

An index by Swiss bank UBS shows significant risks of real estate bubbles in booming cities such as Hong Kong, Munich and Toronto. The Swiss cities of Zurich and Geneva remain relatively stable.The 2018 Global Real Estate Bubble Indexexternal link, published on Thursday, found that bubble (or overvaluation) risk soared in Munich, Amsterdam and Hong Kong over the past year; the latter tops the scale as most at risk.The report also pointed to...

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Novartis to cut 2,200 Swiss jobs by 2020

The pharmaceutical giant Novartis will cut about 2,200 jobs in Switzerland over the next four years. Nearly 1,500 jobs are affected in production and about 700 in services. This restructuring is part of the manufacturing strategy launched in 2015 to adapt the industrial base to a reduced product portfolio, announced Novartis on Tuesday. It currently employs 13,000 people across Switzerland.

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Thousands demonstrate in Bern for equal pay

A national rally in favour of equal pay and against discrimination has taken place in the Swiss capital, attracting some 20,000 people, according to organisers. Unions, political parties and supporting organisations said in the run-up to the rally on Saturday that although equality was enshrined in the constitution 37 years ago and the law had been in force for 22 years, even today power and money are distributed differently among women and men.

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Swiss CEOs still the best-off in Europe

A report on the salaries of CEOs across Europe has found that Switzerland once again tops the table, ahead of Great Britain and Germany. The report also discovers that salaries have risen over the past year.

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Commodity Trading Consortium Launches Blockchain Platform

A consortium of commodities traders, banks and the world’s largest goods inspection company have joined forces to launch a blockchain platform in Switzerland, which is intended to ease the administrative burden of shifting oil, grain and other products around the world.

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Clariant announces strategic overhaul with Saudi partner

Swiss specialty chemical maker Clariant has signed a memorandum of understanding to enter into a strategic partnership with Saudi Arabian firm SABIC. This will result in a major restructuring of the company along with changes in management and the board of directors. On Tuesday, Clariant said the collaboration will see the merger of units from both companies into a new High Performance Materials division.

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Over 7,000 farms get lower subsidies due to irregularities

The federal authorities last year cut direct subsidies paid to 16% of all Swiss farms due to irregularities often due to animal protection and welfare issues. In all, 7,145 farms, or 16% of the total, received lower payments, the SonntagsZeitung wrote on Sunday. The report was based on figures that have yet to be published by the Federal Office for Agriculture, but which were confirmed by the economics ministry.

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Credit Suisse found lacking in fight against money laundering

Swiss bank Credit Suisse has failed to meet its obligations to prevent money laundering, says Switzerland’s financial supervisory authority. According to FINMA, the Financial Market Supervisory Authorityexternal link, the misconduct is related to the alleged corruption cases around FIFA, world football’s governing body, and the oil companies Petrobas and PDVSA.

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Is the tide turning for social media platforms in Switzerland?

The Swiss appear to be switching off from social media, according to a survey, which suggests that the image of Facebook and Twitter have taken a hit. Some 55% of the Swiss population used social media in 2017, down 4% compared with a year earlier, a media brand study for the consultancy firm Publicom revealed. The report, published on Wednesday, says that social media lost more users last year than print media.

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Takeovers and trade at heart of minister’s China visit

It is unfair that whilst Chinese investors can buy Swiss companies the reverse is not possible, says economics minister Johann Schneider-Ammann, who is currently on a visit to China. In an interview with the “Schweiz am Wochenende” newspaper, he reiterated his view that this must be rectified. For infrastructure like electricity supply and telecommunications, the government should be able to intervene “if a company is threatened by a foreign...

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Older people marginalized on Swiss labour market, says report

Despite recent government optimism about the Swiss economy, older people who lose their jobs are struggling, reports Sunday newspaper “Le Matin Dimanche”. The paper cites figures from the Bern University of Applied Sciences that found only 13.9 per cent of unemployed people over 50 in Switzerland find a stable job again. Many end up on social assistance after their unemployment benefits run out.

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Melting glaciers have little impact on Swiss hydropower

Although rapidly melting glaciers provide a temporary boost to Swiss hydropower production, their disappearance does not pose a threat, finds a study from the University of Lausanne. Forecasts predict that glacier melt will slow down between 2070 and 2090. But “fears of a threat to power generation are unfounded”, according to a press release published on Thursday by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), which funded the study.

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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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