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New Swiss tax data exchange deals raise red flags

BERN: The automatic exchange of tax information (AIE) between countries is generally seen as an effective way of cracking down on tax cheats. But what if a country uses the data to politically oppress its citizens? It’s a burning issue facing Swiss lawmakers. This week, Swiss parliament will begin a debate on whether to extend tax data exchange treaties to ... Read More »

Swissport’s short-term loans to HNA raise investor concerns

SWITZERLAND: Swissport has started providing short-term loans to companies linked to the HNA Group, raising concerns among investors about the intermingling of the Swiss airline services company’s funds with its Chinese parent. HNA acquired Swissport at the start of 2016, financing the deal with junk bonds and leverage loans, during the height of the Chinese conglomerate’s international buying spree. In ... Read More »

Switzerland ends six-decade ban on racing with Formula E!

ZURICH: Motor racing will soon return to Switzerland thanks to Formula E which had added a round in Zurich of its 2017/18 schedule. Switzerland enjoys many interesting particularities, but beyond the fact that it invented Velcro and the Swiss Army knife, or that it is only one of two countries to have a square flag, another specificity is that racing ... Read More »

Switzerland’s trade surplus shrunk in august

BERN: For the 24 hours to 23:00 GMT, the USD rose 0.07% against the CHF and closed at 0.9707. In economic news, data revealed that Switzerland’s trade surplus narrowed to a level of CHF2.17 billion in August, as imports grew faster than exports. The nation registered a revised surplus of CHF3.49 billion in the previous month. Separately, the State Secretariat ... Read More »

Switzerland’s SIX looks at potential $2 bln sale of payments unit

ZURICH: Swiss stock exchange operator SIX Group has hired JPMorgan (JPM.N) to look at options for its payments unit, including a sale worth up to 2 billion Swiss francs ($2.1 billion), sources familiar with the plans told Reuters. The decision to kick off a strategic review comes amid a wave of mergers and acquisitions in the fragmented payments industry as ... Read More »

Credit Suisse cuts forecast on Swiss growth in 2017

GENEVA: Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse revised down its forecast of Switzerland’s GDP growth for 2017 to 1.0 percent from 1.5 percent, while leaving unchanged its forecast for 2018 at 1.7 percent, according to its quarterly report on Swiss economy published on Tuesday. According to the latest version of “Monitor Switzerland”, Swiss gross domestic product (GDP) after the first half ... Read More »

Switzerland’s Falcon Private Bank names Grassi to be new chairman

ZURICH: Switzerland’s Falcon Private Bank named Roberto Grassi as its new chairman on Monday, replacing Christian Wenger whose departure was announced this month. Falcon, owned by Middle Eastern investment firm Aabar Investments, said in a statement Grassi was elected at an extraordinary meeting of shareholders. Grassi has been chief executive of Lugano-based consulting firm Fidinam Group since 2001 and has ... Read More »

Swiss Life speaks to DOJ about possible tax evasion by U.S. clients

ZURICH:  Swiss Life could face a fine in the United States after it was contacted by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) about whether it helped U.S. clients avoid tax, Switzerland’s biggest life insurer said on Thursday. The disclosure comes as U.S prosecutors have been widening their probe of Swiss banks who have been helping wealthy American clients dodge taxes ... Read More »

SNB to keep rates on hold, but may change wording on franc

ZURICH: Switzerland’s central bankers may be feeling more relaxed following the recent weakening of the Swiss franc against the euro, but they are still expected to hold their ultra-loose monetary policy at their September policy meeting. Instead, the main focus for the Swiss National Bank’sSept 14 meeting will be whether or not to depart from its description of the franc ... Read More »

NEC unit to install 18 MW storage system in Switzerland

BERN: NEC Energy Solutions (NEC ES), a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary of Japan’s NEC Corp., has agreed to provide an 18 MW, 7.5 MWh energy storage system to renewables-focused Swiss utility Elektrizitätswerke des Kantons Zürich (EKZ). The Tokyo-based IT group claims the installation will be the biggest energy storage system in Switzerland. It is scheduled for completion in early 2018, ... Read More »

Central bank payout keeps Swiss budget in surplus

ZURICH: Big profits from the Swiss National Bank’s massive foreign currency investments should help keep the country’s public finances in the black during 2017, Switzerland’s government said on Thursday. Interest and dividend payments from investments bought by the SNB during its campaign to weaken the highly-valued Swiss franc allowed it to hand over some 577 million Swiss francs ($605.52 million) ... Read More »

Transocean Ltd (Switzerland) (RIG) rises 2.69% for Sep 05

SWITZERLAND: Among the biggest risers on the S&P 500 on Tuesday September 05 was Transocean Ltd (Switzerland) ($RIG), popping some 2.69% to a price of $8.79 a share with some 13.78 million shares trading hands. Starting the day trading at $8.64, Transocean Ltd (Switzerland) reached an intraday high of $8.89 and hit intraday lows of $8.62. Shares gained $0.23 apiece ... Read More »

Switzerland GDP disappoints in Q2

BERN: Switzerland’s economy grew at a slower pace than expected in the three months to June as growth provided by the financial sector and hotels was offset by “sluggish” growth for trade and public administration. Gross domestic product grew 0.3 per cent quarter on quarter in the three months to June, according to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, coming ... Read More »

Swiss inflation picks up as currency pressure eases

BERN: Inflation in the country ticked up in August, as the recent sell-off in the Swiss franc helps to ease some of the downward pressure on prices that has been afflicting Switzerland in recent years. Prices were stagnant over the month – an improvement after a decline in July. On a year on year basis, inflation climbed to 0.5 per ... Read More »

Switzerland keen on early conclusion of India-EFTA trade pact

BERN: EFTA, comprising Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, is negotiating a free trade pact, officially dubbed as Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA), with India since October 2008. Early conclusion of the proposed free trade agreement between India and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) would further boost economic ties between the two sides, Swiss President Doris Leuthard today said. She ... Read More »

UBS Swiss consumption indicator edges higher to 1.38 in July

ZURICH:  The UBS Swiss consumption indicator rose slightly to 1.38 points in July from a revised 1.3 points in June, the Swiss bank’s economists said on Wednesday. July ’17 June ’17 July ’16 Consumption indicator 1.38 1.3 (1.38) 1.45 * Numbers in brackets show the value as was originally reported COMMENTS FROM THE UBS STATEMENT: * The results suggested that ... Read More »

Switzerland coach Petkovic signs 2-year contract extension

BERN: Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic has signed a two-year contract extension as reward for a perfect record in World Cup qualifying. The Swiss football federation says Petkovic was contacted by clubs after the team’s rise to No. 4 in the FIFA rankings. The statement did not identify clubs wanting to hire Petkovic. Petkovic’s team has won six straight qualifying games, ... Read More »

Switzerland changes tax rules for foreign companies

SWITZERLAND: Switzerland changes the calculation of the guarantee for taxpayers who are not domiciled in the country, announced the Embassy of Bulgaria in Bern and the Executive Agency for Promotion of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. The changes affect Bulgarian companies and individuals who have business relations with Switzerland. So far, they owed a cash deposit guarantee or a Swiss bank ... Read More »

Switzerland’s ZKB sees H1 net profit rise 7% to 420 mln Sfr

ZURICH: Local-government-owned Zuercher Kantonalbank (ZKB) on Friday posted first-half net profit of 420 million Swiss francs ($435.5 million), up 7 percent year on year. “With our broadly diversified business model and our close proximity to our customers, we are confident that we can generate another pleasing result in the second half of the year despite the challenging and highly competitive ... Read More »

Transocean Ltd (Switzerland) (RIG) rises 2.73% for August 22

SWITZERLAND: Among the biggest risers on the S&P 500 on Tuesday August 22 was Transocean Ltd (Switzerland) ($RIG), popping some 2.73% to a price of $7.52 a share with some 9.37 million shares trading hands. Starting the day trading at $7.41, Transocean Ltd (Switzerland) reached an intraday high of $7.54 and hit intraday lows of $7.36. Shares gained $0.2 apiece ... Read More »