The rapid rise in interest rates during H2 2016 and the concomitant fall of Gold prices did bring back memories of the 2012 -2013 sell-off of the Golden metal. Yet, we believe that this time is different: while the 2012-2013 was driven by the prospects of tapering which led to a subsequent rise in real interest rates, the current environment is more reflationary with measured improvement in inflation and growth worldwide. These economic dynamics should be supportive for Gold prices over the next 12 to 18 months. We would hence consider Gold as a reflationary asset with a defensive twist.
More Brits now believe Brexit is a bad idea than a good one for the first time since the shock referendum result, according to a new poll by YouGov. Asked "in hindsight, was Britain right or wrong to vote to leave the EU?", the YouGov poll in The Times newspaper found that 45% said wrong (up two), while 43% said right (down three), meanwhile, 12% said they didn’t know. More Remainers than Brexiteers believed they’d made the right decision, with 89% of remain voters saying the result was the wrong decision, compared with 85% of leave voters who still backed exiting the EU.
The International Bank Note Society (IBNS) announces that its voting membership has selected the Swiss National Bank to receive its prestigious “Bank Note of the Year Award” for 2016. With almost 120 new banknotes released worldwide during 2016, over half were of sufficiently new design to be eligible for nomination. The Swiss note only narrowly beat the Maldive Islands 1000 Rufiyaa bill, Argentina’s 500 Peso jaguar, and the Royal Bank of Scotland’s 5 Pound first polymer note.
Last year, Swiss nominal wages recorded an average increase of 0.7% over 2015. For the fifth consecutive year, the increase remained below the 1% threshold. In majority, the economic sectors marked a real increase in wages favored by 0.4% negative inflation. By comparison, the wages increases, negotiated in 2016 by the main labor organizations, referred to almost half a million employees, was 0.4%.
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 TASS on Saturday, on the sidelines of a conference of the World Customs Organization, which took place in Vienna on April 19-21. The event was attended by representatives of 51 nations and the EU. Russia has become a member of WCO in 1992, as a legal successor to the USSR.
Switzerland's central bank posted a profit of 7.9 billion Swiss francs ($7.95 billion) in the first quarter, it said Thursday, boosted by gains from the huge foreign currency reserves built up during its long campaign to weaken the Swiss franc. The Swiss National Bank made a profit of 5.3 billion francs on its foreign currency holdings that rose to 683.18 billion francs at the end of March, a figure larger than Swiss GDP. The bank also made a profit of 2.2 billion francs from a valuation gain on the gold it holds, and 466.4 million francs from negative interest rates it has charged on the sight deposit accounts it holds for commercial banks. The SNB is not required to make a profit, with its main mandate to ensure price stability in Switzerland defined as annual inflation of under 2 percent. But a portion of any profit it does make is distributed to the Swiss government and the country's 26 cantons.
UBS delivered very strong first-quarter results with an adjusted profit before tax of CHF 1,934m, up 42% year on year. Adjusted operating income increased 8%, driven by the Investment Bank, Wealth Management Americas and Wealth Management, and the firm continued to make progress on its net cost reduction program. Despite facing a variety of market conditions and client activity levels, all business divisions and regions contributed to the improvement in performance. Reported pre-tax profit was up 73% year on year to CHF 1,690m. Net profit attributable to shareholders was CHF 1,269m, up 79% year on year, with diluted earnings per share of CHF 0.33. Group annualized adjusted1 return on tangible equity was 12.6%, or 17.4% excluding DTA.
Reporters Without Borders (RWB) released its annual 2017 World Press Freedom Index which revealed Switzerland is still one of the world's top ten countries. The annual Index is produced by Reporters without Borders (RWB), a French-based, international non-profit organization. The Index underlined the Swiss government’s current debate over the mandate of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG-SSR) and the future of Billag, the licence paid by the public. A potential 2018 referendum could see the end of Billag and therefore the end of SRG-SSR, it said.
Uber wants to launch a system of flying cars to move people around cities, with a goal of putting demonstration projects in place by 2020. "I hate that term (flying car), but we'll have to live with it," the company's chief product officer, Jeff Holden, said at the Uber Elevate Summit in Dallas. The vision was published in a 99-page white paper last year. The ride-sharing giant announced a series of partnerships to manufacture “vertical takeoff and landing” (VTOL) vehicles and put networks in place, a system dubbed Uber Elevate.
The way shops advertise different types of food can have a big impact on the quality of your diet , according to a new RAND Corporation research, a US nonprofit institution. Studying people who live in areas considered to be food deserts, researchers found that more frequent shopping at convenience and neighborhood stores and being younger, male, without a college degree and receiving government food assistance were associated with greater intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars and discretionary fats. Being older, male and having a college degree were associated with eating more fruits and vegetables.
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