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Swiss central bank racks up massive loss in curbing strong franc

ZURICH: Switzerland’s central bank posted its heaviest ever annual loss in 2015, a byproduct of the bank’s decision one year ago to scrap a long-standing policy aimed at keeping the overvalued Swiss franc in check here the other day. The 23 billion Swiss franc loss ($23.05 billion) highlights the challenges facing central bankers in Switzerland and elsewhere who are trying ... Read More »

One year on, ‘Franckenschock’ still hurts Swiss

GENEVA: The Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) decision to scrap its cap on the franc against the euro a year ago today shocked markets and sent the country’s currency rocketing 30 percent. One year on, the franc is still high, 10 percent up against the euro, and export-focused Switzerland is still feeling the pain. Looking back at the SNB’s shock move ... Read More »

Switzerland returns stolen Etruscan treasures to Italy

GENEVA: Rare Etruscan artefacts stolen during illegal excavations and hidden away for more than 15 years at Geneva’s free port, have been handed back to Italy, the Geneva prosecutor’s office announced here the other day. A total of 45 cases of stolen artefacts, including two rare Etruscan earthenware sarcophaguses, bas-reliefs, vases and fragments of decorated vases, frescos, heads, busts, and ... Read More »

Switzerland’s ADM offers $215.87/T in Bangladesh wheat import tender

GENEVA: Switzerland’s ADM International offered to sell 50,000 tonnes of wheat to Bangladesh for $215.87 a tonne, the lowest offer in a tender that opened on Sunday, an official of the Bangladesh state grains buyer said. Eight trading companies competed for the tender, which was the second issued by the Directorate General of Food since the current financial year started ... Read More »

Swiss canton tells taxpayers to delay settling bills

GENEVA: Taxpayers in parts of Switzerland this year face an unusual request from fiscal authorities: please delay settling your bill until as late as possible. Zug, the small but affluent canton outside Zürich, has announced it is ending discounts for early payment of tax bills. The reason? The longer it has cash on its books, the more likely it will ... Read More »

Franc key to Swiss economy in 2016: SNB chairman

ZURICH: The Swiss central bank expects the “overvalued” franc to stay at its current level or slightly weaken in 2016, its chairman Thomas Jordan said on Saturday. In fact, a big drop in the currency would be welcome, Mr. Jordan said. The Alpine country’s economy came under pressure last year after the Swiss National Bank decided to scrap a long-standing ... Read More »

Swiss Central Bank racks up massive loss in curbing strong franc

ZURICH—Switzerland’s central bank on Friday posted its heaviest ever annual loss in 2015, a byproduct of the bank’s decision one year ago to scrap a long-standing policy aimed at keeping the overvalued Swiss franc in check. The 23 billion Swiss franc loss ($23.05 billion) highlights the challenges facing central bankers in Switzerland and elsewhere who are trying to prop up ... Read More »

Switzerland’s consumer prices drop at slower pace in Dec

ZÜRICH: Switzerland’s consumer prices dropped at a slightly slower pace in December, the Federal Statistical Office said Friday. Consumer prices decreased 1.3 percent on a yearly basis after easing 1.4 percent a month ago. Prices were expected to fall 1.2 percent. Inflation has been in negative zone since late 2014. Consumer prices slid 0.4 percent month-on-month in December, following a ... Read More »

Swaziland unnecessarily spends money on agricultural imports

SWAZILAND: Swaziland Minister of Agriculture Moses Vilakati believes that the country is needlessly spending money on agricultural imports of produce that it can produce itself. He stated that the country spends more than E100 million annually importing vegetables and fruits. The minister said as projections indicated that urbanisation would increase tremendously; it would exert more pressure on food and opportunities ... Read More »

Swiss sees exports drop 28% in Nov

BERN: Swiss watch exports dropped in November, led by a 28 percent decline in shipments to Hong Kong, the industry’s largest market. Shipments slid 5.6 percent to 1.95 billion Swiss francs ($1.96 billion), according to figures released Tuesday by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. That compares with a 14 percent drop in the year-earlier period and it’s the ... Read More »

US exports oil to Switzerland  14,000 bpd in Oct

NEW YORK: U.S. crude oil exports jumped nearly 91,000 barrels per day in October, mostly due to a major increase to Canada, foreign trade data from the U.S. Census Bureau showed on Friday. Total U.S. exports were just over 500,000 bpd, according to the data. Exports to Canada were 449,000 bpd, while exports to Italy were 20,000 bpd. Meanwhile, some ... Read More »

Switzerland gold exports to China up 9%

GENEVA: First, withdrawals from the vaults of the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE), our best measure for Chinese wholesale gold demand, accounted for 49 tonnes in week 44 (9-13 November), up 9 % from the previous week. Year to date, SGE withdrawals have reached 2,259 tonnes, which is already more than any previous yearly total. Seasonally, SGE withdrawals are the highest ... Read More »

New oversight of freeports in Switzerland may reduce tax fraud, smuggling

BERN: The Swiss parliament yesterday OK’d stricter regulations on so called “freeports”—art warehouses that help collectors skirt taxes in their home jurisdictions—report The amendment goes into effect Jan. 1 and places a six-month time limit on the storage of anything intended for export, requires buyers intending to export works to a freeport to state their identity and requires anyone using ... Read More »

Switzerland unemployment rate surges to 3.3% in Oct

GENEVA: The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) reported on Tuesday that the confederation’s unemployment rate rose to 3.3 percent in October this year, with as many as 141,269 people registered as unemployed in the country. Up from 3.2 percent two months ago, the SECO also indicated that last month’s unemployment rate represented a 6.7-percent rise compared to unemployment ... Read More »

Swiss watch exports drop 2% to $16.5bn in Jan-Sept

ZURICH: Swiss watch exports have suffered their biggest quarterly drop since 2009 as the industry struggles with the strong franc and a slump in demand in the China. The value of shipments fell 7.2 percent in the third quarter, the Swiss customs office has reported. Exports dropped 2 percent in the first nine months of the year to 15.8 billion ... Read More »

Switzerland’s raw palladium imports fall to lowest since December 2008

LONDON: Switzerland’s raw palladium imports fell to their lowest since December 2008 last month, data from the Swiss customs bureau showed on Tuesday, pushing its net exports of the metal to their highest in a year. Shipments of the autocatalyst metal dried up from the United Kingdom and the United States, where stocks of the metal are stored to back ... Read More »

Switzerland’s gold exports to China, Hong Kong jump in September

BERN: Adding some more interest to the gold sector, Switzerland’s gold exports to China and Hong Kong together hit a 18-month high in September. This was offset though with exports to India, which fell by two-thirds. Back to the markets, and overnight in New York gold added 0.3% to US$1176 an ounce. Helping the yellow metal recently is the increasing ... Read More »

Swiss watch exports fall 9.9% in Sept

GENEVA: Swiss watch exports posted the biggest quarterly drop since 2009 in the third quarter as plummeting sales in China spread to other Asian markets in September. “After May and July, September is the third month to show a marked decline in Swiss watch exports,” the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH) said yesterday. “This negative change has spread ... Read More »

Swiss watch exports decline 7.2% in Q3

BERN: Swiss watch exports had their biggest quarterly decline since 2009 as the industry struggles with the strong franc and as a slump in demand in China and Hong Kong began to spread across Asia. The value of shipments fell 7.2 percent in the third quarter, adjusted for working days, the Swiss customs office said in a statement. Exports dropped ... Read More »

Swiss economy shows surprising growth of 1.2% in Q2

BERN: Domestic spending kept Switzerland’s economy expanding in the second quarter as government figures released on Friday showed a surprise upturn in growth. The country’s gross domestic product expanded 1.2 percent in real terms from the same period a year earlier and by 0.2 percent from the first quarter, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) said in a report. ... Read More »