Tag Archive: Business

Tourists continue to flock to Switzerland

The number of overnight stays in Swiss hotels increased by 3.8% last year to 38.8 million. Domestic tourism also registered a rise with 17.7 million stays by Swiss guests – up 2.7% on the previous year – Switzerland Tourism said at its annual press conference on Tuesday. It also welcomed the 3.7% increase in European guests but added that in mountain regions this figure was still down 43% on 2008.

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UBS to appeal record €3.7 billion French tax fraud fine

A French court on Wednesday found Swiss bank UBS guilty of illicit solicitation and laundering of the proceeds of tax fraud, imposing a hefty fine of €3.7 billion (CHF4.2 billion). The bank was convicted of illegally helping wealthy French clients evade tax authorities in France. UBS, its French subsidiary and three of its former executives have also been ordered to pay civil damages of €800,000.

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Wabco car systems manufacturer moves HQ to Switzerland

Car systems manufacturer Wabco Automotive has opted to move its global headquarters from Brussels to the Swiss capital, Bern. The company has plans to set up a competence centre in autonomous driving in collaboration with Swiss universities. “Switzerland is world-renowned for providing a highly favorable environment for breakthrough innovations and offers many distinct advantages for corporate headquarters,” said chairman and CEO Jacques Esculier...

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BLS train group to shelve 170 jobs by 2023

The BLS train company, which operates several routes in the regions around Bern, is to cut some 170 positions over the coming four years, for reasons of efficiency and automation. In a move criticized on Thursday by rail unions, BLS announced the cuts as part of planned efficiency gains that aim to save between CHF50-60 million ($49.8-59.2 million) by 2023.

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Pressure mounts on Swiss commodity traders in Brazil corruption probe

Pressure is growing on global commodity trading firms with strong ties to Switzerland for their alleged involvement in the “Car Wash” corruption scandal in Brazil. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating two Vitol executives in the Americas, according to Reuters news agency.

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Scandals hurt Swiss Business Reputation in 2018

Switzerland’s reputation as a place to do business took a serious hit last year following various scandals, from corporate bank fraud to illegal subsidies. The Swiss Economy Reputation Index 2018external link, published on Tuesday by Basel-based consultancy Commslab and the fög research institute at the University of Zurich, dropped for the fifth consecutive quarter, reaching its lowest level since July 2014.

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Switzerland investigating Venezuela-linked corruption

Switzerland’s attorney general has opened an investigation into a corruption case involving Venezuela, according to a weekend report published by Schweiz am Wochenende. The Latin American nation is in the grips of a major political, economic and social crisis. According to the prosecutor's statement to the weekly, proceedings were initiated at the end of 2017 against unknown persons “in the context of the events in Venezuela”.

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Train delay data queries image of Swiss railways

Trains operated by the state-owned Swiss national railway operator are less punctual than company statistics make believe. A private website, launched in 2017 and compiled from data provided by the transport ministry, found that on average one in six intercity trains – or just under 84% - operated by the Federal Railways is late. That is, it arrives at its destination with a delay of at least three minutes.

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Telecoms firms awarded 5G mobile frequencies

The Swiss government has raised CHF380 million ($379 million) from auctioning fifth-generation (5G) mobile radio frequencies, it said on Friday. The three Swiss main providers, Swisscom, Sunrise Communications and privately owned Salt, each received part of the spectrum after newcomer Dense Air dropped out of the bidding.

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Swiss start-ups to benefit from multi-million fund

Start-ups and innovative small and medium-sized businesses are to be encouraged to stay in Switzerland thanks to a new fund of up to CHF500 million ($499 million). The initiative, from Swiss Entrepreneurs Foundation (SwissEF) and launched on Thursday, has the backing of some heavy hitters in the business world, including insurer Mobiliar and banks UBS and Credit Suisse.

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Sunrise confirms talks to buy Liberty Global’s Swiss unit

Switzerland’s Sunrise Communications Group has confirmed it is in talks to buy Liberty Global’s cable operator UPC Switzerland. The company said in a statement on Tuesday: “Sunrise confirms it is in discussions with Liberty Global regarding a possible acquisition of UPC Schweiz. Sunrise will only pursue a transaction that is strategically compelling and demonstrably value creative for its shareholders.”

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Over 18 million unsolicited calls made every month in Switzerland

According to a consumer group, over 18 million unsolicited telephone calls are made every month in Switzerland. The SKS consumer group for German-speaking regions has addressed the problem of unsolicited phone calls in a letter sent to a Swiss parliamentary commission discussing the revision of the Swiss telecommunications law. A copy of the letter was recently published in Tamedia newspapers.

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Tourists return to Swiss mountain destinations

Overnight stays in Swiss Alpine resorts have increased for four consecutive seasons since winter 2016/17, with summer destinations doing better than winter destinations. Lucerne topped an international study of 145 resorts.

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Swiss bike couriers take out protection against Uber Eats

Swiss bicycle couriers have signed a 'Europe-first' collective bargaining agreement deal aimed at protecting them from cheaper rivals, such as the food delivery service Uber Eats. The courier employer’s association Swissmessengerlogistics (SML) negotiated the contract with the trade union Syndicom on Tuesday.

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Swiss firms increase EU lobbying

Swiss companies have sharply increased their lobbying in Brussels in the face of uncertain relations with the European Union. Switzerland has more companies lobbying in Brussels than many other European countries, writes the SonntagsBlick newspaper, citing the EU’s latest transparency register.

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No Swiss exemption from EU steel import cap

The European Union is imposing limits on steel coming into the bloc from Saturday in response to US President Donald Trump’s metals tariffs. The measures will also affect Swiss steel exports to the EU. The EU said on Friday that it is introducing new measures to prevent steel produced for the US market from flooding into Europe instead because of tariffs introduced by Trump.

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Half of Swiss Population Commutes Half an Hour to Work

Nine out of ten employees in Switzerland – or four million people total – commuted to work last year, most of them to another municipality, and most by car. In 2017, the average one-way Swiss commute was 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) and took 30.6 minutes, reported the Federal Statistical Officeexternal link on Tuesday.

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Swisscom Blockchain head departs abruptly

Daniel Haudenschild has stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of Swisscom Blockchain with immediate effect. The state-owned telecommunications group gave no reason for the shock move by the top manager and shareholder of its blockchain advisory unit. News of Haudenshild’s departure clearly came out of the blue for the Swiss blockchain sector.

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Swiss Watchmakers Celebrate a Vintage Year

Swiss watch exports grew by 6.3% in 2018, breaking the CHF21 billion ($21.2 billion) mark. This increase, largely due to Asian markets, is set to continue this year despite uncertainty surrounding the Chinese economy.

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Novartis Stockpiles Drugs in UK to Ensure Supply

Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Novartis says a no-deal Brexit could hurt patients and that it is stockpiling medicines in the UK to help ensure continuity of supply. In a press releaseexternal link on Friday, it said that after the British parliament’s rejection of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, “the risk of UK exiting the EU without a deal is increased and this will be hugely impactful for patients, particularly around the supply and...

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