Tag Archive: Business

IMF predicts Swiss growth to slow to 1.1percent in 2019

The Swiss economy is likely to slow in 2019, with gross domestic product growth expected to hit 1.1%, followed by a “moderate” recovery in 2020, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday. The IMF said in a concluding statement, published on Monday following a mission to Switzerland and an annual evaluation, that a “sustained regional slowdown, intensification of global trade tensions and a disruptive Brexit” would adversely affect the Swiss...

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Stadler lands $600 million order in the US

Swiss railway vehicle manufacturer Stadler Rail has won a $600 million (CHF597 million) order in the United States. The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTAexternal link) on Friday announced its decision to award Stadlerexternal link the contract for 127 Metro (underground) trains with two options of 25 additional trains each.

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Growth forecast lowered for Swiss economy

Worsening international conditions will have a negative impact on Switzerland’s export-driven economy, prompting the Swiss Economic Institute (KOF) to lower its forecast for this year. KOF on Wednesday announced it had revised its growth forecast down from 1.6% to 1% for Switzerland’s gross domestic product. However, the latest outlook for 2020 remains virtually unchanged with growth of 2.1%.

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Public transport enjoys another record year among tourists

Foreign visitors spent 6.4% more on Swiss Travel System tickets in 2018 than in the previous year. Sales rose to over CHF130 million ($131 million). 2018 is thus the sixth record year in a row, the Swiss Federal Railways said on Tuesday. Chinese guests were the top foreign users of public transport, with sales of CHF20.3 million, an increase of 14.9%.

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Swiss chocolate consumption slides

In 2018, Switzerland’s population consumed around 87,000 tonnes of chocolate. However, average chocolate consumption dropped from 10.5 kg per person in 2017 to 10.3 kg in 2018, a decline of roughly 2%. This decline reflects last year’s longer hotter summer, according to the industry association Chocosuisse.

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Swiss join protests against EU copyright reform

Tens of thousands of people across Europe, including in the Swiss city of Zurich, staged protests on Saturday against the European Union's planned copyright reform bill. More than 1,000 demonstrators marched in the northeastern Switzerland against the copyright reforms which critics fear threaten freedom of speech, according to the Keystone-SDA news agency.

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Top Swiss institutes launch joint cyber-security programme

Switzerland’s federal technology institutes have launched a new Masters degree in cyber-security as part of an effort to play a leading role in studying the protection of computers and networks. The two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, Lausanne's EPFL and Zurich's ETH, already offer “world-class training in the fields of computing and information technology," said education and research minister Guy Parmelin at the announcement of the new...

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Report urges more sustainability from Swiss financial centre

Switzerland must make its financial centre more sustainable and transparent to ensure it doesn’t lose access to the European market, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers seen by Swiss public radio, RTS. This conclusion was part of an assessment carried out by the consulting firm and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which analysed the consequences of the European Union’s action plan on financing sustainable growth, due to be presented to...

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Cryptocurrencies accepted by Switzerland’s biggest online retailer

Switzerland’s largest online shop, Digitec Galaxus, has announced it will start accepting payments in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The company, which saw turnover of close to a billion francs last year, is by far the largest Swiss retailer to date to take this step. The move may go some way to answering the question posed by many bitcoin holders: “I have cryptocurrencies, now what do I do with them?”

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Court confirms legal weed should be taxed as tobacco

The Federal Administrative Court has upheld a decision by Swiss customs to tax legal marijuana leaves to the same extent as tobacco. In its decision published on Wednesday, the St Gallen court said that “fake” marijuana – i.e. cannabis containing less than 1% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – was sold primarily to be smoked, and therefore should be taxed similarly to tobacco.

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Swiss-German venture aims to build blockchain trading marketplace

A consortium of Swiss firms has joined forces with Germany’s main stock exchange to create a distributed ledger technology (DLT) trading system that would rival one being built by the Swiss stock exchange. The alliance is between Deutsche Börse, Switzerland’s state-owned telecoms company Swisscom, budding Swiss crypto bank Sygnum, the Daura platform for listing tokenised company shares and financial services start-up Custodigit.

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Report proposes third-class rail tickets for budget travellers in Switzerland

Swiss railway companies should introduce a third-class category for passengers on a budget, a report commissioned by the Federal Office of Transport has recommended. The NZZ am Sonntag newspaper said on Sunday that a recent federal government report, commissioned by an external expert group, had recommended introducing “third class aircraft-style seating for maximum capacity at favourable prices”.

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More electric vehicle charging stations to be built

The Swiss government has awarded concessions to five companies to set up additional electric charging stations at 100 rest areas along the country’s motorways. The decision, announced by the Federal Roads Office on Thursday, is part of government plans to boost e-transport.

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Federal Court rejects complaint against Volkswagen importer

Switzerland’s highest court has dismissed a legal complaint by a consumer group against Amag, an importer of German Volkswagen diesel cars into Switzerland, linked to the emissions-rigging scandal. The Federal Court rejected an appeal by the SKS consumer group, stating that it had no case against VW and Amag; SKS claimed that they had misled car buyers and violated Swiss law.

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Good Year for Swiss Economy in 2018

After some years of steady but low growth, the Swiss economy expanded by 2.5% in 2018 on the back of a positive global situation. The figures, released on Thursday by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), showed growth last year that was a hair below expected (+2.6%) but which still marked a jump from 2017 figures (+1.6%).

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Swiss weapons exports increase 14 percent

Swiss companies last year exported government-approved war materiel to 64 countries with a total value of CHF510 million ($510 million), 14% more than the previous year. Germany was the largest customer, taking deliveries worth CHF118 million, followed by Denmark, the US, Romania and Italy, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) said on Tuesday.

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Swiss private banking giant dips toes into crypto scene

One of Switzerland’s largest banks, Julius Baer, has entered the cryptoassets world by announcing a partnership with budding crypto bank start-up SEBA. While other Swiss banks, such as Vontobel, Falcon and Swissquote, are already active in the space, Julius Baer’s entrance has attracted particular attention.

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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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