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French Customs seizes un-exportable Picasso’s art work worth €25m heading for Switzerland

BERLIN: A painting by Pablo Picasso estimated at more than €25 million (CHF26.5 million) and considered “unexportable” by the Spanish authorities has been seized by French customs officials on a boat moored in the French island of Corsica. “An attempt to export to Switzerland a picture by Picasso, Head of a Young Woman, through the customs office of Bastia [a ... Read More »

Gunvor group offers bond buyback after asset sales net $1.7b

BERN: Gunvor Group Ltd. offered to buy back all of its outstanding $500 million bond as the commodity trader deployed part of its cash hoard after selling assets in Russia. The offer was triggered by Gunvor’s sale of oil terminal and pipeline assets in Russia, from which it earned a net profit of about $1.7 billion, the company said Tuesday ... Read More »

Swiss Customs seizes 262Kgs of ivory in suitcases worth $413,000 international market value

BERLIN: Swiss Customs officials at Zurich airport have seized 262 kilograms (578 pounds) of ivory, Swiss authorities said Tuesday. The ivory was found during a security check on July 6 and packed in eight suitcases, Switzerland’s customs authority said. It put the estimated black market value at about 400,000 francs ($413,000). The elephant tusks had been sawed into 172 pieces ... Read More »

Expat Finns in Portugal likely to lose tax-free pension

LISBON: Emigrated Finns in Portugal may lose the right to tax-free pensions, perhaps from the beginning of 2017, reported a Finnish language daily Helsingin Sanomat. The Ministry of Finance plans to increase the tax of Finns living in Portugal to the same amount as those living in Finland. All Finnish residents in Portugal should be taxed regardless of the time ... Read More »

HSBC H1 profit rises 10% as bank agrees on Brazil sale

BERN: Pretax profit rose to $13.6 billion from $12.3 billion in the year-earlier period, the London-based lender said in a statement on Monday. The company agreed to sell its Brazilian unit to Banco Bradesco SA for $5.2 billion. Chief Executive Officer Stuart Gulliver, 56, has been seeking ways to shore up earnings, battered by rising misconduct costs. In June, the ... Read More »

ArcelorMittal Europe reports operating profit of €352m for Q2-2015

BERN: ArcelorMittal Europe today announced its results for the second quarter ended 30 June 2015. The segment recorded an operating profit of €352 million, compared with €245 million for Q2 2014. Second quarter 2015 Ebitda increased by 22.7 per cent, to €617 million as compared to €503 million in the corresponding quarter of 2014, reflecting improved steel shipment volumes as ... Read More »

South Asfrican unemployment rate drops from 26.4% to 25% in Q2- 2015

CAPE TOWN: Hungarian Unemployment surprisingly fell to 25% in the second quarter of this year from 26.4% in the first quarter as the economy created jobs even though economic growth is weak while business confidence is low, Statistics SA figures showed on Wednesday. Stats SA reported that 198,000 jobs were created in the second quarter, most of which were in ... Read More »

Dutch Shell slashes 6,500 staff

BERN: The protracted downturn in oil prices is seeing another energy major make swingeing cuts to its global workforce. Royal Dutch Shell’s latest quarterly results saw net income slide 25% to $3.9bn and ceo Ben van Beurden was quick to announce massive cuts to protect the company’s bottom line. “We are anticipating some 6,500 staff and direct contractor reductions in ... Read More »

Swiss Re shares slips 2.9% this week

BERN: Swiss Re, Europe’s second-biggest reinsurer, fell the most since April in Zurich trading after earnings missed analysts’ estimates on lower profitability at its property and casualty unit. The shares declined 2.9 percent at 10 a.m., crimping gains this year to 2.7 percent. The Bloomberg Europe 500 Insurance Index has climbed 13 percent in the period. The company reported second-quarter ... Read More »

Swiss Bankers respond to privacy initiative

BERN: The Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) has published a new report on the “Yes to the protection of privacy” initiative, which criticizes plans to enshrine bank-client confidentiality in the federal constitution. The “Yes to the protection of privacy” initiative was launched in March 2013 by a cross-party committee headed by banker and Member of Parliament Thomas Matter. The popular initiative ... Read More »

Switzerland, Italy Talk Tax Cooperation

BERN: Swiss and Italian foreign ministers recently met to discuss taxation, finance, transport, and other cross-border issues. Didier Burkhalter, head of Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, received Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni for official talks in Bern on May 28. The ministers welcomed the bilateral agreement on finance and taxation signed in February. It amends their double tax agreement ... Read More »

EU, Switzerland sign tax transparency deal

BERN: The European Union (EU) and Switzerland will automatically exchange information on the financial accounts of each other’s residents from 2018, under a new tax transparency agreement signed on May 27, 2015. The agreement was signed by EU Tax Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, Latvian Finance Minister Janis Reirs (on behalf of the Latvian Presidency of the EU Council), and Jacques de ... Read More »

Zurich Insurance wants to buy British rival RSA

ZURICH: The Swiss insurance giant, Zurich Insurance, has announced that it wants to purchase its British rival Royal & Sun Alliance. The company said it “confirms that the company is evaluating a potential offer for RSA,” while adding that the announcement did “not amount to a firm intention” to bid. RSA’s share price soared 14.32 percent to 500.5 pence in ... Read More »

Swiss arms exports hit 217 mln Swiss francs in H1: Customs

GENEVA: Figures released by Switzerland’s Customs Administration here the other day showed that the confederation sold almost 217 million Swiss francs (CHF) worth of arms to foreign countries during the first half of the year. Representing more than a 30 million CHF increase compared to the first six months of 2014, statistics show that Germany remained the top importer of ... Read More »

$1trillion IT trade deal finalizes by WTO member

GENEVA: World Trade Organisation (WTO) members met in Geneva on Friday trying to finalise a deal to cut tariffs on $1 trillion of information technology products from video games to medical equipment. The United States said a deal had been struck, but WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo postponed a press conference at which he and the talks’ chairman, European Union ... Read More »

Swiss Logitech Q1 revenue falls by 2% to $470 million

BERN: Swiss-American gadget maker Logitech International SA on Thursday posted a 2 percent drop in quarterly revenue, hurt by a strong dollar and falling demand for its computer accessories. The Lausanne-based company reported adjusted operating profit for its first quarter ended June 30 of $31 million, or 16 cents a share, compared with 22 cents a share a year earlier. ... Read More »

Swiss Customs data shows a decrease in exports, imports in H1

BERN: The Swiss Federal Customs Administration announced on Tuesday that Swiss exports and imports, totalling over 100.1 billion CHF (104.3 billion U.S. dollars) and 82 billion CHF respectively, registered a decline during this year’s first six months. Relative to 2014 figures, Swiss authorities indicated that exports dropped by 2.6 percent and that imports to the confederation recorded a 7.4 percent ... Read More »

Swiss Panalpina Q2 net forwarding revenue down at CHF 1.44 bln

BERN:  H1 net is forwarding revenue 2,941.4 million Swiss francs ($3.07 billion) versus 3,230.5 million Swiss francs year ago. H1 gross profit 736.1 million Swiss francs versus 777.9 million Swiss francs year ago. H1 EBIT 60.4 million Swiss francs versus 60.1 million Swiss francs year ago. H1 consolidated profit 45.3 million Swiss francs versus 44.0 million Swiss francs year ago. ... Read More »

Swiss company Aryzta buy La Rousse Foods

BERN: Aryzta, the Swiss-based company, with Irishman Owen Killian at the helm, has bought La Rousse Foods, a premium foodservice provider in Ireland for an undisclosed amount. The deal is subject to approval by the Competition and Consumer Protection Authority and it will allow both businesses to grow premium foodservice offering locally and internationally, Aryzta says. Established by chefs, for ... Read More »

Gold prices fail to hold above $1,100/oz amid tepid physicals demand

BERN: Gold prices have dropped further on Wednesday’s morning session despite a weaker dollar while physicals demand remained stagnant. Spot gold prices moved down to $1,094/1,094.8 per ounce, down $8.5 from yesterday’s close despite a weaker dollar – dollar index nudged down to 97.27, down 0.07 from yesterday. “The precious complex continues to be under pressure following Mondays sharp sell-off,” ... Read More »