Tag Archive: Business

Swiss unions call for ‘social agenda’ in EU relations

Switzerland’s largest trade union group has repeated its warning that any framework deal reached with the European Union must respect measures to protect wages from cross-border competition. At the annual conference of the Swiss Trade Union Federation on Thursday, the objective of keeping wage measures in place was hammered home by group president Pierre-Yves Maillard.

Read More »

Swiss National Bank expects profit of CHF49 billion for 2019

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) expects to post an annual profit of CHF49 billion ($50.29 billion) for 2019, it said on Thursday, citing big gains from foreign bonds and stocks bought to dampen the value of the safe-haven Swiss franc. The profit, following a loss of CHF15 billion in 2018, means the central bank will pay out CHF2 billion to the Swiss government and cantons for last year and will hold discussions with the finance ministry on a possible...

Read More »

Swiss rents fall but property prices increase in 2019

Rents in Switzerland fell by an average of 0.5% last year but some regions bucked the trend. Last year was a good one for tenants, according to the Swiss Real Estate Offer Indexexternal link, which was published on Tuesday. December alone saw rents dropping 0.4% on average. The most significant drops were in central Switzerland (-1.7%), the Lake Geneva region (-1.1%) and northwestern Switzerland (-0.9%).

Read More »

Swatch offers compromise in watch movements deadlock

Switzerland’s largest watch maker, Swatch, says it will limit the number of movements it makes for the industry in a bid to end a long-running stand-off with the anti-trust regulator. At the end of last year, the Competition Commission (Comco) temporarily suspended deliveries of watch movements from Swatch’s ETA unit to big rivals from January 1, 2020.

Read More »

Facebook’s Libra has failed in current form, says Swiss president

Facebook’s Libra project needs reworking to be approved, according to the president of Switzerland, where the cryptocurrency is seeking regulatory consent. “I don’t think [Libra has a chance in its current form], because central banks will not accept the basket of currencies underpinning it,” Finance Minister Ueli Maurer, who held the rotating presidency in 2019, told Swiss public radio, SRF.

Read More »

Credit Suisse: FINMA appoints independent investigator

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA says it will have an independent auditor investigate Swiss bank Credit Suisse “in the context of observation activities”. “The observation activities carried out by Credit Suisse raise various compliance issues,” FINMA said in a statement on Friday evening.

Read More »

Swiss railways are becoming safer, new figures show

There has been a fall in the number of accidents and fatalities on the Swiss railways, according to new national figures. On Tuesday, the Federal Statistical Office reported a total of 70 rail accidents and 14 deaths in 2018. This is the lowest number of annual fatalities since 2011. In the 2000s there were between 200 and 282 reported accidents each year and 20-40 deaths, excluding suicides on the Swiss rail network.

Read More »

Court rejects Lake Zurich cablecar project

A Zurich court has rejected plans for a cablecar link crossing over Lake Zurich, stating that the project, known as ‘Zuribahn’, did not have sufficient local support. The court annulled construction plans for the city cablecar, which had been presented by Zurich Cantonal Bank (ZKB) to mark the bank’s 150th birthday in 2020.

Read More »

Léman Express to cut Geneva traffic jams

Commuters got their first proper taste on Monday of what's been hailed as the largest cross-border regional rail network in Europe, the Léman Express.The network, which opened officially on Sunday, is the result of decades of planning and almost eight years of construction work. It offers a fast cross-city rail link from Geneva's central train station to Annemasse in France.

Read More »

Novartis withdraws patent claim on leukaemia treatment

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis has backed down in a patent dispute over the leukaemia therapy Kymriah following opposition from NGOs. The Swiss NGO Public Eye is claiming victory in the European Patent Officeexternal link battle, but Novartis says the patent in question was only one of several it has in place on the (CAR)-T cell therapy treatment it had developed together with the University of Pennsylvania.

Read More »

Swiss economy tipped to remain stagnant next year

The Swiss economy is not expected to see any sustainable growth until 2021 at the earliest, according to government forecasters. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) agreed, keeping negative interest rates unchanged. A government expert group concluded that economic growth would rise only 0.9% this year, 1.7% in 2020 and 1.2% in 2021.

Read More »

Swiss firms’ investments double abroad  

Companies in Switzerland invested double the amount abroad in 2018 than the previous year, figures show. But foreign investors withdrew capital from Switzerland due to a US tax reform. In 2018, companies domiciled in Switzerland invested CHF 61 billion abroad ($62 billion) (compared to CHF30 billion in 2017). Around three-quarters of the direct investment were from firms in the services sector, the Swiss National Bank said on Friday.

Read More »

Can Swiss business and human rights co-exist?

Switzerland performs a delicate dance when it comes to promoting business interests, maintaining neutrality and defending human rights. Daniel Warner looks at recent examples and the stakes at play. Doing business with other countries and promoting human rights can and do go hand in hand, Swiss State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Pascale Baeriswyl recently told swissinfo.ch.

Read More »

Nestlé identifies over 18,000 child labourers in cocoa supply chain

As part of its monitoring programme, Swiss multinational Nestlé has identified 18,283 children performing “unacceptable” tasks at cocoa farms that supply beans to the company. Over half have been rehabilitated following company intervention. In 2012, Nestlé established a Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS) in partnership with the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) in the Ivory Coast to identify children at risk of carrying out...

Read More »

Bank savers feel sting from negative interest rates

Swiss savers are being made to pay for global demand for the franc. The number of bank customers being charged negative interest rates on their deposits is on the rise – and shows no sign of reversing. The problem for domestic savers stems from the popularity of the Swiss currency. Amid economic uncertainty worldwide and a paucity of return on many investments, people have taken to dumping their assets in the solid franc.

Read More »

French strike disrupts rail traffic with Switzerland 

A national strike in France is causing severe disruptions to high-speed TGV rail traffic between Paris and Switzerland. Swiss Federal Railways issued an advisory discouraging travel along this route from December 5 to 8. Only one TGV train will operate between France and Switzerland on Thursday.

Read More »

Julius Bär ordered to repay CHF153 million missing German funds

Swiss bank Julius Bär has been ordered to pay CHF153 million ($155 million) to settle a claim that one of its subsidiaries pilfered money from Germany during the reunification of the country in the 1990s. A Swiss court on Wednesday overturned a previous verdict that Julius Bär should not he held responsible. The Swiss wealth manager has been pursued for damages by a German state department that tracks down assets from the former East Germany.

Read More »

Switzerland’s dark business with Ukrainian coal

Pro-Russian separatists are financing their war in Ukraine with coal deliveries to the West. Now the role of Swiss companies in Zug and Geneva is being investigated, according to a report in the SonntagsZeitung. Fontus AG describes itself on its website as a “reliable and responsible supplier of high-grade solid fuels”, selling “coal of Russian and Kazakh production”.

Read More »

Zurich airport company wins huge Indian deal

Flughafen Zürich AG, the operator of Zurich airport, has been selected to design, develop and operate a new airport near the Indian capital after outbidding local companies. The companyexternal link said in a statement on Fridayexternal link it would develop and operate the new Noida International Airport at Jewar in Uttar Pradesh state under a 40-year concession.

Read More »

Swiss crypto sector welcomes proposed blockchain law

Proposed updates to the banking, corporate and financial infrastructure laws to accommodate Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) have been broadly welcomed by Switzerland’s growing blockchain industry. Parliament is now set to debate the wide-ranging set of proposals presented by the governmentexternal link on Wednesday.

Read More »