Tag Archive: Business

Using lake water to help reduce Switzerland’s carbon footprint

Swiss lakes offer huge potential as renewable energy sources that can be used to cool and heat buildings. Geneva is expanding a pioneering thermal exchange project to help meet its climate goals, while other regions are taking the plunge. After transport, the second and third biggest sources of national greenhouse gas emissions are Swiss industry (20% of total in 2017) and households (18%).

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Is blockchain real estate in need of renovation?

Our regular analysis of developments in the world of fintech and Crypto Nation. Property has for some time been hailed as prime real estate for blockchain disruption. The incorruptible ledger will replace mountains of paperwork while interested parties will have a sovereign claim to validate transactions in property sales.

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What does blockchain have to do with me?

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies seem to be all over the news, but is this a flash-in-the-pan gimmick or a real digital service that can impact on the lives of ordinary people?

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UBS: “Negative interest rates harm Swiss economy”

A survey of Swiss companies commissioned by UBS bank concludes that negative interest rates are harming the wider economy. Switzerland’s largest bank, UBS, asked 2,500 companies about the impact of negative interest rates. “Nearly two-thirds of respondents said that the cost…for the economy outweighed their benefits overall,” UBS said in a press releaseexternal link on Thursday.

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Swiss train problems being solved, says manufacturer

Bombardier says it expects to deliver all 62 double-decker express trains ordered by Swiss Federal Railways by summer 2021. Deliveries should have been made as early as 2013 but have been fraught with technical problems. The trains were ordered in 2010 for a total of CHF 1.9 billion ($1.9 billion), making it the largest contract in the history of rail transport.

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Why is solar power struggling to take off in Switzerland?

Solar energy is the main source of renewable energy in Switzerland, after hydroelectric power. But its potential is far from being exploited, according to industry experts. In 1982 Switzerland became the first country in Europe to connect a photovoltaic plant to the electricity network. Ten years later it inaugurated what at the time was the continent’s largest solar power station.

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Nestlé accused of sourcing palm oil linked to forest fires in Indonesia

The environmental group Greenpeace claims that the Swiss food giant procured palm oil from suppliers linked to around 9,700 fire hotspots in Indonesia this year. A Greenpeace reportexternal link released on Monday examines the supply chain of four major food companies – Nestlé, Unilever, Procter & Gamble and Mondelēz – and compares them to palm oil suppliers that are under investigation for starting illegal fires.

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Would an Uber ban in Geneva push other cities to treat drivers as employees?

It’s not the first time Uber has faced some bumps on the road in canton Geneva. But the latest move requiring the ride-hailing company to treat drivers as employees could spell big changes for the company. Will Uber call it quits or set a precedent for other cities?

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‘Farinet’ local currency to be withdrawn from circulation

The Farinet – a local currency introduced in canton Valais in 2017 – is to be withdrawn from circulation at the end of 2019 after failing to stimulate the regional economy as hoped. Farinet banknotes were introduced in Valais in western Switzerland in spring 2017. But on Tuesday the association behind the currency announced it planned to withdraw it at the end of this year.

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Switzerland’s growth hampered by trade tensions, economic slowdown

Trade tensions coupled with a slowdown in Europe are likely to take a toll on the Swiss economy over the next two years, the OECD forecasts. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has revised its growth forecasts downwards for Switzerland. It also recommended Switzerland raise its retirement age.

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Switzerland calls time on phone booths

The last telephone box in French-speaking Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Geneva, was dismantled on Thursday. Swisscom will remove the one in the country – in Baden, northern Switzerland – on November 28. An era in the history of Swiss telecommunications is thus coming to an end, an era that witnessed millions of declarations of love, tears and banal conversations in the little cabins that once stood on almost every street corner.

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Credit Suisse results impress despite damaging spy scandal

Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam has reiterated that he had nothing to do with the spying scandal that recently rocked the bank. Thiam insisted that the debacle has not damaged business as the bank presented better than expected third quarter results.

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Campaign targets online gambling addicts

An awareness campaign has been launched to help addicted online gamblers in Switzerland cope with their compulsive behaviour. An independent foundation said it published a special digital programme, Gambling without Addiction, with the authorities in most cantons of German-speaking Switzerland.

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General Electric limits job cuts in Switzerland

The American industrial conglomerate General Electric has announced a reduction in the number of planned layoffs at its subsidiaries in Switzerland. The company said a maximum of 200 people would lose their jobs at two of its sites west of Zurich. In June it had announced a figure of some 450.

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‘Next generation’ private bank plans to open doors in Switzerland

A new private banking venture has joined the growing list of companies applying for licenses from the Swiss financial regulator. Tallyon aims to become a “next generation” private bank, riding the way of “radical change” in the industry.

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Real wages set to rise in Switzerland for first time in three years

Employees in Switzerland are expected to receive above-inflation pay rises for the first time since 2016, according to a survey of companies. On average, workers are forecast to take home a 1.1% pay hike – a rise of 0.9% when taking inflation into account. These are the findings of research portal Lohntendenzen.ch, as reported by the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper.

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How pension payments are making Swiss housing unaffordable

Under pressure to invest, Swiss pension funds are ploughing money into real estate, considered a safe and profitable option. As this drives up housing prices, however, desperate residents are fighting back through direct democracy. Building land in central Switzerland is scarce, and apartments and houses expensive, especially in cities.

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Five things to come out of Zuckerberg’s Libra testimony

Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of the US Congress on Wednesday about his company’s plans to launch a new, global digital currency. During a marathon hearing, the Facebook chief executive and founder attempted to change the narrative surrounding Project Libra. The proposed currency has been beset by criticism from regulators and politicians, while support from corporate partners has dwindled.

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Zurich residents take on real estate investors to keep their homes

In a modest Zurich neighbourhood, long-time residents of a sprawling apartment complex will lose their homes if a planned renewal project backed by a pension fund goes ahead. Similar projects are happening across Switzerland as funds invest heavily in real estate amid low interest rates.

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Self-censorship increases online amid data privacy concerns

The Swiss are using the internet more than ever but have growing angst about companies like Facebook violating their privacy. The consequence is a rising trend to self-censorship: not looking for certain information or not expressing oneself online.

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