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New Swiss company tax reform plan well received in Brussels

BERN/BRUSSELS: The Swiss government’s company tax reform plans have been reborn after the last plan met with defeat in a popular vote on 12 February 2017. The new plan, dubbed “Tax proposal 17”, aims to avoid issues that bedeviled the last project. Last time many were concerned by the potential financial impact of lower company tax rates, and the proposal ... Read More »

Swiss Roche revenue up 4% at CHF12.94b on strong sales

BASEL: Roche Holding AG said revenue rose in the first quarter, thanks to strong sales of several of its drugs. Basel based Roche said revenue climbed 4% to 12.94 billion Swiss francs ($13.03 billion), from CHF12.41 billion a year earlier. The company doesn’t report quarterly earnings. Among the medicines that drove growth was Roche’s trio of drugs aimed at women ... Read More »

Swiss watch exports rise in almost two years

ZURICH: The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry’s latest statistics confirms that Hong Kong, which had been showing signs of recovery for some time, ended 25 months of a steep decline in March to record a year-on-year rise of 18.1% in the month. The United States continued its hesitant progression with a good monthly result of +15.6%. The faltering recovery ... Read More »

Vote launched to legalize cannabis in Switzerland

GENEVA: Last week a group called “Legalize it“, launched an initiative to have cannabis legalized. They now have 18 months to get 100,000 signatures, the minimum number required to qualify for a referendum, known as a popular initiative. Unlike a failed referendum on the subject in 2008, this one includes a ban on sales to young people and a plan ... Read More »

Credit Suisse plans to raise about £3b, cancels Swiss IPO plans

ZURICH: Credit Suisse will raise around 4 billion Swiss francs ($4 billion) from its shareholders, the embattled bank said on Wednesday, trying to close the gap in financial strength with rivals. The bank said the decision, which saw management ditch an alternative plan to publicly list part of its Swiss business, should remove any concerns over the group’s capital strength. ... Read More »

Russia offers Switzerland to sign agreement on customs collaboration

VIENNA: Russia has offered Switzerland to sign an agreement in collaboration in the sphere of customs, Ruslan Davydov, first deputy director of Russia’s Federal Customs Service told press. As the incumbent chairperson of the Council of the World Customs Organization (WCO), he took part in a conference of the organization’s Europe region, held in Vienna. “Russia and Switzerland don’t have ... Read More »

Swiss president eyes trade, infrastructure & energy cooperation

ZURICH: Swiss President Doris Leuthard took advantage of her official trip to Buenos Aires this week to advocate greater cooperation with Argentina in areas such as infrastructure investment, trade and multilateral cooperation at a time of rising spreading “nationalism and protectionism.” As the first president of the Swiss Confederation to travel to Argentina in an official capacity, Leuthard urged that ... Read More »

Swiss Franc trading lower in the morning session

BERN: For the 24 hours to 23:00 GMT, the USD rose 0.1% against the CHF and closed at 0.9987. In the Asian session, at GMT0300, the pair is trading at 0.9993, with the USD trading 0.06% higher against the CHF from yesterday’s close. The pair is expected to find support at 0.9956, and a fall through could take it to ... Read More »

Specter of tax evasion haunts Swiss banks

BERN: Swiss private banks have spent much of the past decade trying to rid themselves of lucrative accounts used to avoid taxes. But news of an international tax probe at Credit Suisse last month showed more work is needed to mend Switzerland’s image as a tax haven. Banks have written to tens of thousands of clients ordering them to “regularise” ... Read More »

Switzerland is not manipulating its currency: State Secretary

ZURICH: Switzerland is not manipulating its currency, Jorg Gasser, the country’s state secretary for international financial matters, said on Tuesday. That followed Switzerland being named last week as one of six countries on the “monitoring list” in the U.S. Treasury’s semi-annual currency report on potential foreign-exchange manipulators. Switzerland met two of the three criteria to be named a manipulator, both ... Read More »

Switzerland to exchange bank details with Pakistan from 2019

BERN: Switzerland will start exchanging bank details with Pakistan and 21 other countries from 2019 under the contract signed by these countries before 2018. The 22 countries with which Switzerland singed the deal before 2018 include Pakistan, Andorra, Argentina, Barbados, Burundi, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Chile, Greenland, India, Israel, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, Republic of Seychelles, South ... Read More »

Tax evasion issue continues to haunt Swiss banking

ZURICH: Swiss private banks have spent much of the past decade trying to rid themselves of lucrative accounts used to avoid taxes. But news of an international tax probe at Credit Suisse last month showed that Switzerland has further to go before it can escape the shadow of its image as a tax haven. Banks have written to tens of ... Read More »

New Swiss corporate tax reforms on schedule

ZURICH: A steering body charged with drawing up a new package of Swiss corporate tax reforms has completed a first round of hearings on the proposals. The steering body is comprised of members from the Confederation and the cantons. It was set up following the Government’s defeat in February’s referendum on the third series of corporate tax reforms (CTRIII). According ... Read More »

SIX bids to ease exchange of tax information

BERN: The automatic exchange of information (AEoI) places a significant organizational burden on financial institutions. To make things easier, SIX is introducing a service to handle the whole procedure. The new service on offer from SIX helps financial institutions to compile and classify their clients tax data more easily. Banks will be able to extend and standardize their reporting to ... Read More »

Swiss court rejects tax data request by French authorities

ZURICH: Switzerland’s highest court has ruled that the Swiss Government cannot honor a request by the French tax authorities for information on two clients of a Swiss bank because the information at issue was obtained illegally. The case in question involves a married French couple whose bank account details were among those stolen by Herve Falciani, a former employee of ... Read More »

Swiss financial watchdog probes Credit Suisse aimed tax fraud

BERN: Switzerland’s financial watchdog said it was “in contact” with Credit Suisse after authorities in the country were kept in the dark about a massive international fraud probe targeting the bank. The five-country tax evasion and money-laundering investigation focusing on clients and top employees of Switzerland’s second-largest bank came as a surprise to Swiss officials when it was announced last ... Read More »

Switzerland, UK discuss post-Brexit free trade talks

ZURICH: Talks on the post-Brexit relationship between Switzerland and the UK are underway, according to the Swiss Federal Council. On March 31, Swiss Federal Councillor Johann N Schneider-Ammann met the UK’s Trade Secretary Liam Fox for a working meeting on Swiss-UK relations after the UK leaves the EU. As part of the Federal Council’s “Mind the Gap” strategy, it will ... Read More »

Swiss Credit Suisse CEO paid €11m despite back-to-back losses

ZURICH: Credit Suisse bucked the trend set by its European peers and increased bonuses by 6 percent last year despite reporting a large annual loss, as Tidjane Thiam, chief executive, pressed ahead with restructuring. The Swiss bank also revealed that the pay of its chairman Urs Rohner had risen by 23 percent to almost SFr4 million ($4m) for the 12 ... Read More »

France, Switzerland inks accord on tax system to EAP

BASEL: France and Switzerland have signed an international agreement on the tax system applicable to EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg (EAP). The agreement was signed by Swiss Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter and the French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Harlem Desir. The agreement aims to establish a long-term legal regime to ensure that the airport and its businesses remain attractive ... Read More »

Swiss current account surplus widens by $5.04b

BERN: Switzerland’s fourth-quarter (Q4) current account surplus widened by 5 billion Swiss francs ($5.04 billion) year on year to 22 billion francs as surpluses in services and in trade in goods both rose, data from the Swiss National Bank showed on Friday. The financial account balance — the increase in the net international investment position resulting from cross-border investment — ... Read More »