Rolex, the luxury Swiss watchmaker, is the brand with the best corporate reputation in the eyes of consumers, according to a new global survey. Reputation Institute (RI), a reputation management consultancy, each year compiles a list of the top 100 most reputable companies in the world based on more than 170,000 ratings collected across 15 countries. Using its proprietary RepTrak measurement system, RI tracks consumers' perceptions across seven key areas: products and services, innovation, workplace, governance, citizenship, leadership and performance.
The Swiss economy expanded marginally in the fourth quarter, figures from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) showed Thursday. Gross domestic product grew by a less-than-expected 0.1% sequentially, the same pace of expansion as seen in the third quarter. Economists had forecast a quarterly growth of 0.4%. The SECO had earlier estimated flat growth for the third quarter. Switzerland’s export-oriented economy has faced headwinds due to the strength of the franc, which central bank policy makers have repeatedly called “significantly overvalued.” Better growth in the neighboring euro area may help Switzerland, where the manufacturing, retail and tourism sectors have all been negatively affected by the currency. Imports of goods logged a sequential growth of 0.2%, while services import declined 5.2%. The year-on-year growth more than halved to 0.6% in the fourth quarter from a revised 1.4% in the previous quarter. Economists had forecast the growth rate to remain steady at the third quarter's original figure of 1.3%.
At least 180 companies have already declared their interest in working with President Trump to build his proposed wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, just three days after the government announced the contract bidding process was open. More companies will likely signal interest in competing for President Donald Trump’s massive border wall project, but 180 construction and engineering firms from across the U.S. registered to submit a bid for the contract as of Monday evening.
The ban on cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in Switzerland, which expires at the end of 2017, will be extended for another four years, until 2021. Today the Parliament have approved, by 32 votes to two with two abstentions, the relevant revised federal law on genetic engineering. The research will continue to be possible. A motion to extend it until 2025 was rejected. The House of Representatives had previously agreed the extension to 2021. With 25 votes against 18, the senators, contrary to the wishes of the Federal Council, decided that in Switzerland there will be no co-existence of GM and traditional crops.
Global banking giant HSBC has disclosed being probed by tax authorities in India, the US, France and Belgium, including against its Swiss and Dubai units, for allegedly abetting tax evasion of four Indians and their families. Disclosing the "tax-related investigations" in its latest annual report published last week, HSBC further said it has set aside $ 773 million as a provision for various tax- and money laundering-related matters.
JPMorgan, Microsoft, Intel, Accenture PLC and a large consortium of major players in tech and banking, including Credit Suisse, UBS, Bank of New York Mellon and Thomson Reuters, have joined hands to establish the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), a new group dedicated to developing Ethereum into an enterprise-grade Blockchain platform. The alliance connects Fortune 500 enterprises, startups, academics and technology suppliers with Ethereum subject matter experts to learn from and build upon Ethereum and to define standards for enterprise-grade implementations.
Swiss private consumption is set to grow robustly over the coming months as households' economic and financial expectations have improved considerably, results of a survey by the UBS bank showed Wednesday. The UBS consumption indicator rose from 1.38 to 1.43 points in January and continues to signal solid growth in private consumption. Swiss consumers view the economic and financial situation with considerably more optimism than in the last quarter. New car registrations and domestic tourism have, however, fallen compared with the previous January. Economists had forecast a score of 1.5.
After many months of rumors, YouTube has officially announced its entry into streaming live TV. YouTube TV will let you access live and recorded content from major networks, both the big broadcast players as well as some options typically found on cable. "Half the cost of cable with zero commitments" said the announcement. For $35 a month, YouTube TV will include live streaming of ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN and about 30 of the biggest cable TV channels.
Some 28% of EU citizens who have applied for permanent residency in the U.K. since Brexit had their applications rejected or declared invalid, the Guardian reported Monday. In the last half of 2016, more than 12,800 EU citizens had their permanent residency requests rejected and a further 5,500 were declared invalid, analysis by the Liberal Democrats found. However, the Home Office said “applications can be rejected for a whole range of administrative reasons including where an application form has not being signed or failure to pay a fee.”
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