News

21.12.2016

Switzerland: government to defend SNB monetary policy

The government defended he Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) independence and rejected a number of proposals to reform Switzerland’s central bank. "The SNB's monetary policy concept has proved its worth also in difficult situations such as in the wake of the global financial crisis from 2007 to 2009," the cabinet said in a statement after a meeting. The abandonment of the CHF1.20 peg to the euro in January 2015 saw the franc appreciate further against the euro at the expense of exporters and the Swiss tourism industry. This sparked a raft of parliamentary proposals to force the SNB to change course.

 
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21.12.2016

BNP Paribas applies blockchain payments in real time

BNP Paribas, the French multinational bank and financial services company, announced today that it has processed several live payments for Panini Group, an international leader in collectibles and trading cards and Amcor, a global leader in packaging solutions, using blockchain technology. It processed and cleared for payments in various currencies between bank accounts located in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The payments were fully processed and cleared in a few minutes, which BNP Paribas says highlights the real potential of this innovative technology which eliminates delays, unexpected fees and processing errors, paving the way for real time cash management.

 
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21.12.2016

World's largest trading floor on sale

The UBS trading floor in Stamford, Connecticut, US, once the world’s largest, had more than 5,000 traders slamming phones and kicking trash cans and now it is up for sale, according to a person with knowledge of the offering, as Bloomberg reported. UBS, which had owned the building, is responsible for its maintenance until its lease expires at the end of next year, the person said. Fast forward to today and the near-vacant building, larger than a football field (approximately 720,000-square-foot), has been put on the sale block, since the Swiss bank hasn’t been able to restock its trader ranks after the 2008 financial crisis, the Wall Street Journal reported.

 
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21.12.2016

Lidl stops giving receipts from next January

Starting from next January Lidl in Switzerland will not give receipts to customers. The German giant explains that in this way it will produce 30 million in less paper waste. Receipts will be issued only upon customer request. "30 million of waste is equivalent to 96,000 rolls for cash registers" noted Alexander Wolf, the Lidl sales manager in Switzerland, Saving costs, among other things, Lidl will apply even more competitive prices, after having already put in serious difficulty the direct competitors. The policy of not issuing receipts is feasible in Switzerland, where there are no controls on the issuance of the receipt.

 
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21.12.2016

Swiss Competion Commission (COMCO) fines several European and U.S. banks

The Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO) said on Wednesday it had fined several European and U.S. banks over four instances of interest rate cartels, the largest of which was a 33.9 million Swiss franc ($32.9 million) penalty for JPMorgan Chase & Co. The commission said J.P. Morgan and RBS ran a “bilateral cartel” to influence the Swiss franc Libor benchmark rate, which is widely used by banks to determine on what terms they will lend to each other and to price derivatives, between 2008 and 2009.  JPMorgan will pay CHF33.9 million, but RBS will not have to pay a fine as it went to Weko with the information.

 
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21.12.2016

Novartis is buying US start-up leader in presbyopia's treatment

Novartis, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant that owns Alcon, is buying Encore Vision, a privately-held company in Fort Worth, Texas, USA, focused on the development of a novel treatment in presbyopia.  Novartis said Tuesday that the acquisition would add a “first-in-class” treatment to its ophthalmology pipeline, “providing a potentially disruptive innovation to patients in a new therapeutic area of high unmet need and high prevalence.” Terms were not disclosed.

 
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20.12.2016

Facebook accused of misleading EU in Whatsapp takeover

The European Commission is accusing Facebook of providing incorrect or misleading information during the Commission's investigation into its merger with WhatsApp back in 2014, opening the company to a possible fine of 1% of its turnover. It centers around the fact that Facebook told the Commission that it would be unable to reliably automate matching between separate accounts on the messaging app and the social network. "Companies are obliged to give the Commission accurate information during merger investigations. They must take this obligation seriously," Ms Vestager, the European Union's Competition Commissioner, said.

 
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20.12.2016

US Justice proposes $5-7 bn fine on Credit Suisse over toxic mortgage

The US Department of Justice is asking Credit Suisse to pay between $5 billion and $7 billion to settle an investigation into its selling of mortgage-backed securities, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday. The claim against Credit Suisse, which is likely to be negotiated in 2017, far outstrips the bank’s and investors’ expectations. However, if the sides do not reach an agreement, US authorities could sue the bank. Credit Suisse and the Department of Justice declined to comment.

 
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20.12.2016

Equities are a real asset class

Don’t forget equities are a real asset class, and ultimately they are likely to benefit from a reflation regime

 
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20.12.2016

Switzerland: exports record worst result since September 2015

Swiss exports fell by 2.1% in November, to 18.8 billion francs, reaching the lowest level since September 2015, the Federal Customs Administration indicates today. The chemical and pharmaceutical sectors and-electronic machines, first and second in Swiss exports, recorded the stagnation of sales abroad in the previous month. Watchmaking, in third place, has declined by one-tenth, equivalent to 194 million francs.

 
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