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Swiss watch exports fall 8% to $1.53bn in Jan

GENEVA: Swiss watch exports decreased for seven months in a row due to the ongoing global economic slowdown followed by decreasing demand for luxury timepieces, which is one of Switzerland’s main export commodities. Two of the biggest Swiss goods importers, Hong Kong and the United States, were considered the most responsible for the decline in the global economy, according to ... Read More »

Zug MPs call for new 5,000-franc banknotes

ZURICH: Two MPs from the canton of Zug’s parliament are calling on the Swiss federal government to create 5,000-franc banknotes to “save the privacy and freedom” of citizens. Philip Brunner and Manuel Brandberg, members of the right-wing Swiss People’s Party, have proposed a motion that they hope Zug will support for a cantonal initiative seeking changes to the federal currency ... Read More »

Switzerland assists EU member states in cases of evasion of indirect taxes

GENEVA: “Switzerland does not grant mutual assistance for the prosecution of fiscal offences that are the subject of investigations by a foreign authority.”(1) This statement in the Federal Department of Justice and Police Guidelines on International Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters reflects a cornerstone of Swiss policy regarding requests for legal assistance in criminal matters.(2) The policy is based on ... Read More »

Nestlé drops sponsorship of athletics body over scandal

GENEVA: Swiss-based food giant Nestlé has terminated a sponsorship programme with world athletics’ governing body (IAAF) over fears that the corruption and doping scandals surrounding the sport could damage the company’s reputation, a spokeswoman said here the other day. “I confirm that we have decided to end our partnership with the IAAF Kids Athletics programme with immediate effect,” Nestlé spokeswoman ... Read More »

CEO loses $33m claim against UBS

GENEVA: A private wealth client has failed in his $33 million High Court claim against Swiss banking giant UBS for losses he suffered during the 2008 global meltdown. Justice Belinda Ang, in judgment grounds released yesterday, found that Mr Stanley Tan had agreed to the “unwinding” of his investment in accumulators in an effort to cut his losses. Mr Tan ... Read More »

Zurich Insurance plans to cut 8,000 jobs

GENEVA: Zurich Insurance is planning to cut 8,000 jobs worldwide between now and 2018, including 750 positions in Switzerland, after announcing a drop in profits for 2015. The company on Thursday said net income for the year fell to $1.8 billion, down 53 percent from 2014 as business turnover dipped nine percent to $67.9 billion. “This is a disappointing result, ... Read More »

Credit Suisse posts first net loss since 2008

GENEVA: Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second largest bank, said on Thursday that it recorded a net loss of 2.42 billion francs for 2015, weighed down by “substantial charges” it said did not reflect its underlying business performance. The massive loss, the first for the bank since 2008 and higher than most analysts expected, compares with a net profit of 1.87 billion ... Read More »

Swisscom to cut 700 jobs after revenues slip

GENEVA: Swisscom, Switzerland’s biggest telecom company, is cutting 700 jobs after announcing on Thursday a 20 percent drop in net profits for 2015 from the previous year. The company said net income fell to 1.36 billion francs “largely due to non-recurring items”. Revenue dipped by 0.2 percent to 11.68 billion francs. But in a letter to shareholders, Swisscom said it ... Read More »

Julius Bär bank to pay $547m over tax fraud

GENEVA: Swiss private bank Julius Bär said here the other day that it had finalized an agreement with US authorities, paying $547 million to end a criminal investigation into claims that it helped rich Americans dodge taxes. “Being able to close this regrettable legacy issue is an important milestone for Julius Bär,” chief executive Boris Collardi said in a statement. ... Read More »

Credit Suisse sees $3b net loss

GENEVA: Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse yesterday posted a net loss of nearly US$3 billion for 2015, hit by hefty litigation provisions and restructuring charges, sending its share price down more than 12 percent. Switzerland’s second largest bank posted a net loss of 2.9 billion Swiss francs (US$2.9 billion) for the year, compared to a net profit of 1.8 billion ... Read More »

UBS shares slide despite soaring profits for 2015

GENEVA: Swiss banking giant UBS on Tuesday posted a 79-percent higher net profit for 2015, beating analyst expectations, with tax benefits offsetting a difficult fourth quarter hit by market turmoil. Last year, Switzerland’s largest bank raked in a net profit of 6.2 billion francs ($6.1 billion), it said in its earning statement. “Despite a very challenging environment, we had an ... Read More »

Swiss say $4bn misappropriated from Malaysian state firms

GENEVA: Switzerland’s chief prosecutor said a criminal investigation into state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) had revealed that about US$ 4 billion appeared to have been misappropriated from Malaysian state companies. The office of Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber said it ha d formally asked Malaysia to help with its probes into possible violations of Swiss laws related to bribery ... Read More »

Swiss firm Bertschi opens S$45m facility in Jurong Island

GENEVA: Swiss chemical logistics firm Bertschi has opened a S$45 million facility in Jurong Island, as the company makes its first move into South-east Asia. The facility, which sits on a 329,483 sq ft site, was launched on Friday. Its services, which will cater to specialty chemical companies, include handling and storage for dangerous goods, isotank storage, blending, drumming and ... Read More »

Switzerland’s ADM wins tender to supply 50,000 tonnes of wheat to Bangladesh

GENEVA: Switzerland’s ADM International has secured a tender to supply 50,000 tonnes of wheat to Bangladesh after submitting the lowest offer of $215.87 a tonne, said an official with the state grains buyer on Wednesday. This was the second international wheat purchase tender issued by the Directorate General of Food since the current financial year started in July. Eight trading ... Read More »

Swiss real exports fall by 0.7% in 2015

ZURICH: Record U.S. demand helped Swiss companies compensate for a slump in sales to the euro zone and Asia in 2015, even though exporters had to settle for slimmer margins after Switzerland lifted its exchange rate cap against the euro. The move to remove the three-year-old cap by the Swiss National Bank in January 2015 has been dubbed “Frankenshock” locally, ... Read More »

Swiss watch exports slip on strong franc

ZURICH: Switzerland’s watch-industry exports fell in 2015 for the first time since the global financial crisis, dragging overall exports lower as manufacturers battled a stronger Swiss currency and weak demand in important markets in Europe and Asia. Swiss watch shipments, a proxy for sales, fell 3.3% in 2015 to 21.52 billion francs ($21.26 billion) from the previous year, according to ... Read More »

Frozen Iranian funds freed up from Swiss banks

GENEVA: Switzerland has freed up money from Iran that was frozen in Swiss bank accounts. It’s come after sanctions against the state were lifted. CHF12 million ($11.8 million) had been stopped from leaving Switzerland after being frozen between 2007 and 2012, as part of a sanctions programme against Iran to attempt to force the country not to develop and build ... Read More »

Switzerland to give Ukraine $200 mln to replenish its reserves

GENEVA: Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko had a meeting with President of Switzerland Johann Schneider-Ammann, during which they agreed on the provision of $200 million in additional assistance to replenish Ukraine’s foreign exchange reserves. The president of Ukraine thanked the Swiss government and people for the humanitarian and financial assistance in the amount of approximately $350 million, the Ukrainian president’s press ... Read More »

4th industrial revolution to be driven by renewable energy: WEF meeting

DAVOS: The leaders from various key sectors highlighted the 4th industrial revolution will be driven by renewable energy at the 46th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting, which kicked off here the other day in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. Under the theme “Mastering the 4th Industrial Revolution”, over 2,500 leaders from business, government, international organizations, civil society, academia, media and the arts ... Read More »

Indonesia`s exports to Switzerland surge to US$1 billion

DAVOS: Indonesias exports to Switzerland shot up to US$1 billion in 2015 from only US$133 million in 2014, an official said. Director General of National Export Expansion Nus Nuzulia Ishak said gold and silver ornaments contributed the largest or US$765 million to the total export value in 2015. “Demand for Indonesian ornaments in Switzerland grew,” Nus, who is attending a ... Read More »