Swiss pharmaceuticals group Novartis says net income fell 15 percent in the first quarter, as it continued to adjust to generic competition for its Gleevec leukemia drug and stopped work on a hoped-for treatment for heart failure. The Basel-based company said net income dropped to $1.7 billion in the quarter, compared to $2.01 in the year-earlier period. It cited a $200 million charge to discontinue RLX030, which failed to pass tests in trials as a treatment for acute heart failure.
Eric Olsen, CEO of the Swiss-French giant LafargeHolcim, has stepped down following an internal investigation into one of the company’s manufacturing plants in Syria. In 2013 and 2014, one of world's largest cement company allegedly paid armed groups protection money to keep its Jalabiya plant open while the country’s civil war intensified. “While I was absolutely not involved in, nor even aware of, any wrongdoing I believe my departure will contribute to bringing back serenity to a company that has been exposed for months on this case,” Olsen said on Monday, who will leave on July 15, two years after becoming chief executive and taking responsibility for implementing the €41bn merger between the French company Lafarge and its Swiss rival Holcim in 2015.
Swiss Economic Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann had strong words for Credit Suisse bonus. Asked over the issue on Sunday by Zentralschweiz am Sonntag, he said that so-called fat-cat salaries for top bankers are stupid and divisive. The minister, part of the nation’s governing seven-member cabinet, was commenting about payouts to senior managers of Switzerland’s second-largest bank, Credit Suisse.
The Swiss National Bank stands ready to defend the franc with interest-rate cuts and market interventions if investors pile into the haven currency in response to the French elections, said SNB President Thomas Jordan said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “We hope that a reasonable candidate can win, somebody who is in favor of free markets, but we cannot exclude that there will be more pressure on the Swiss franc,” Jordan explained in Washington, on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund spring meetings. “But as you know we also have our instruments to react to such a situation.”
Emmanuel Macron, the 39-year-old former banker who quit the Socialists for a remarkable tilt for France's presidency, has won the country's first-round vote, finishing just ahead of far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. The French Interior Ministry's final figures for the vote showed Macron winning 23.75 per cent of the vote, with Le Pen on 21.5. Francois Fillon for the Republicans, the party of the Gaullist establishment, came third with 19.9 per cent of the vote, just ahead of far-left firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon with 19.6 per cent.
Generally, investing in smaller companies is riskier than investing in larger companies. Large caps tend to be less volatile during rough markets as investors fly to quality and become more risk-averse. The long-term statistics certainly suggest that smaller companies do indeed outperform larger ones. Mid caps lie between large cap stocks and small cap stocks. In Europe the Eurostoxx Mid Index, has historically outperformed the broader Stoxx 600 Index, and in the last bull market started in 2009, the real gap in the performance between the two indexes, started in 2013, as we can see in the graph below where it is represented in the upper side the relative strength of the Eurostoxx Mid Index versus the Stoxx 600 Index, and in the lower side the historical performance of the two indexes.
One again, Switzerland again ranked No. 1 on the list, according to the 2017 Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2015-16, released by INSEAD, the France-based business school for the world. The research is produced in partnership with the Adecco Group and the Human Capital Leadership Institute of Singapore. Essentially, the report argued that while tech advancements will continue to disrupt the workplace and displace jobs, new opportunities will also be created. High ranking countries share key traits, according to INSEAD.
The US Federal Reserve has fined Deutsche Bank $156.6m for violating foreign exchange rules and breaching the Volcker Rule. The US unit was fined for "unsafe and unsound practices" in the foreign-exchange markets, the Fed said in a statement. The firm "failed to detect and address that its traders used electronic chatrooms to communicate with competitors about their trading positions," the central bank added. Central bank officials are "requiring the firm to co-operate in any investigation of the individuals involved in the conduct underlying the FX enforcement," according to the statement.
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