Luxury estate agent Knight Frank and research firm Wealth-X have released their annual report on where the ultra-wealthy are snapping up property across the world. The list focuses on high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) — those with $30 million or more in net assets – and examines their migration patterns. The report notes: “The latest data on HNWI migration confirms the strong and growing attraction of Australia, the US and Canada as destinations for the footloose wealthy. “Cities such as Sydney and Melbourne top the list of growth markets,” it adds.
High-end Swiss chocolatier and confectionery company Lindt & Sprüngli grew at a faster pace than the overall chocolate market last year, according to the company’s latest financial results. Although the group is at the top end of the market, which would give it some margin for manoeuvre on prices, the race to cut costs within the industry still took its toll.
The Vatican has issued new figures showing it narrowed its deficit by half in 2015 to 12.4 million euros. That compares with a deficit of €25.6 million in 2014. The Vatican released the figures for 2015 but didn’t include fuller details as it has in previous years, citing a transition in its financial accounting system that also delayed disclosure of the 2015 figures.
The Boards of Standard Life plc (“Standard Life”) and Aberdeen Asset Management PLC (“Aberdeen”) are pleased to announce that they have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended all-share merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen, to be effected by means of a court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement between Aberdeen and the Aberdeen Shareholders under Part 26 of the Companies Act 2006 (the “Merger”). The Combined Group will in due course be branded to incorporate the names of both Standard Life and Aberdeen.
Switzerland is viewed as the No. 1 overall country, according to the 2017 Best Countries report, a joint rankings and analysis project from U.S. News & World Report, Y&R's BAV Consulting and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. People regard the European country highly for its citizenship, being open for business, an environment that encourages entrepreneurship, the quality of life it provides its citizens and for its cultural influence. The rankings evaluate 80 countries – up from 60 last year – across a range of criteria, from power and economic influence to citizenship and quality of life, to capture how nations are perceived on a global scale.
Jeff Bezos, co-founder of Amazon and owner of Blue Origin, a private space firm looking to rival SpaceX, is hoping to help humanity establish a colony on the moon by delivering supplies there. An internal report from Blue Origin was obtained by the Washington Post, which Mr Bezos also owns, and outlines the space travel firm’s plans for future missions. Mr Bezos says he now want to create a delivery service to our nearest satellite. He explained that NASA need to create “incentives to the private sector to demonstrate a commercial lunar cargo delivery service”.
Consumers in Switzerland are shopping more and more products from foreign ecommerce websites. Last year, the total value of online purchases Swiss consumers made abroad was worth 1.3 billion Swiss Francs, which corresponds to 1.22 billion euros. That’s an increase of 18% compared to last year. And that growth is mostly due to Swiss consumers shopping online more and more from Chinese websites, a new survey by Swiss mail-order association VSV, GfK, Swiss Post and MediaFocus shows. According to this study, online purchases at foreign ecommerce websites have doubled between 2012 and 2016. And this development is likely to continue in the coming years. The study authors assume that cross-border ecommerce in Switzerland will continue to grow disproportionately.
The Swiss National Bank reported a profit in 2016, the annual results showed Monday. A profit of CHF 24.5 billion was recorded in 2016 compared to a loss of CHF 23.3 billion in 2015. The profit on foreign currency positions totaled CHF 19.4 billion. A valuation gain of CHF 3.9 billion was registered on gold holdings and a profit of CHF 1.6 billion on Swiss franc positions.
Since early January, Oil has been consolidating at high levels and in a narrow range. The period follows the sharp rise in prices, which started at the end of November, following the Vienna OPEC meeting, when an agreement to cut production finally started to materialise. With this political uncertainty behind them, speculators have pushed net long positions to record highs, while, since year end, hedgers and commercial players have been selling forward to lock in these levels. It is this battle we are currently experiencing.
The most beloved passport in the world by rich people is not American. European citizens are the owners of the most valuable passports in the world with the top ten spots all countries in Europe. But the world’s most powerful passport belongs to Sweden. The findings come from offshore consulting firm Nomad Capitalist, who have ranked 199 passports globally.
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