News

01.02.2017

Bitcoin: Swiss Consortium to solve blockchain banking secrecy

The OTC Swiss Blockchain Consortium announced a new Ethereum-based “encryption module” for their blockchain-based transaction platform for securities that are traded over-the-counter (OTC), as reported in the press release. Launched in September, the consortium includes Swisscom (Switzerland’s largest Telco Company), SIX (the Swiss Market Exchange operator), and Zürcher Kantonalbank (Switzerland’s 3rd largest bank), but also do the young and innovative companies ti&m, Inventx and Incore Bank. The group is receiving support from Switzerland’s Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI), a research organization supported by the federal government.

 
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01.02.2017

Food and Beverage: Switzerland the most expensive in Europe

The statistical office of the European Union has taken a survey of 440 comparable foods across Europe to create an index of food, beverage, and tobacco prices categorized by nation. According to purchasing power, their 2015 data concludes that Switzerland has Europe's most expensive food and drinks. They're followed closely by Norway, Denmark, and Iceland. For fruit and vegetables, including potatoes, Switzerland is the most expensive country in the EU, then Denmark and Ireland.

 
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01.02.2017

Trump calls for lower drug prices, pushes on US production plants

Pharma industry leaders, including Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez and Merck & Co. chief Kenneth Frazier, got their marching orders from President Donald Trump on Tuesday morning. Lower your prices, deliver "better" innovation and "move your companies back" to the U.S. In a "pharma" meeting in the Oval Office, the President told executives from companies that they have done a "terrific job over the years" but that prices for drugs must come down.  "Our trade policy will prioritize that foreign countries pay their fair share for U.S.-manufactured drugs, so our drug companies have greater financial resources to accelerate development of new cures, and I think that's so important," Trump said.

 
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01.02.2017

Chinese billionaire abducted in luxury Hotel in Hong Kong

Mystery surrounds the whereabouts of Xiao Jianhua, one of China's richest men, reportedly taken away from the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong by Chinese police and put into custody in on the mainland, according to media reports. Mr Xiao is the founder of Beijing-based Tomorrow Group, a well-connected financial services company, and is worth nearly $6 billion ($4.75 billion), according to the Hurun Report, China's version of the Forbes Rich List. It's unclear why Mr Xiao has been targeted. China's ministry of public security and foreign ministry did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday, a public holiday in China. The Financial Times (FT) said Xiao normally keeps an entourage of female bodyguards but was led away without a scuffle. 

 
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01.02.2017

EU puts an end to mobile roaming

The European Union reached a deal early Wednesday morning that should pave the way for consumers to use their mobile phones throughout the 28-country region without paying roaming fees. Three-way negotiations between the European Parliament, Council and Commission ended just after midnight with a pact on the pace of slashing rates telecom companies charge each other, according to the office of Parliament’s rapporteur Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, a Finnish member of the Socialists & Democrats, who tweeted "Goodbye roaming,". 

 
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01.02.2017

Julius Baer profit up, to hit new target asset goal

Swiss private banking group Julius Baer reported Monday that its fiscal 2016 net profit attributable to shareholders, on IFRS basis, increased by 411 percent to 619 million Swiss francs. Earnings rose by 414% to 2.85 franc per share. The prior-year period's results included provision of $547.25 million or 521 million francs for a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice or DOJ regarding the legacy U.S. cross-border business.

 
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31.01.2017

Is The Dow 20’000 So Meaningful?

Whenever the Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches a new milestone the investors are used to cheer. It happened last week, when the most famous of the stock indexes broke the 20’000 mark, after flirting with this significant level for about two months. Is this new record so important for the market? To be honest, it looks difficult to find a rational reason for all this excitement, 20’000 is just a number, as they were all the round numbers that the index had reached in the past years. Psychology is important at this matter: a close above 20’000 feeds optimism and confidence, especially among retail investors, and translates into new purchases.

 
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31.01.2017

Trumponomics and the Bond Rout (by W. Snyder)

After a lengthy stay in the land of Oz down under, where one has a very different point of view, a return to a new situation that is still very much the old situation is enlightening.

 
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31.01.2017

Switzerland: Health care needs more digitalization to save money

Swiss health insurance  premiums will double by 2030. According to a study by EY (Ernst & Young), insurers will have to help reduce the costs of health care by focusing on innovation and digitalization. The consulting firm estimates that health costs are expected to rise by 60% by 2030, for a total of 116 billion francs. If in 2014 in Switzerland, the average expenditure was equal to 6% of their income for health insurance premiums, the rate is set to rise to 11% in 2030, as stated today by EY analysts in a conference call.

 
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31.01.2017

Basic Income debate to spread over French Presidential Race

Benoit Hamon secured the French Socialist Party's presidential nomination on Sunday, beating rival Manuel Valls. Initial results gave Hamon 58 percent of the vote and Valls only 42. Hamon was the more left-wing choice of the two politicians. He supports a universal basic income and wants to reduce the traditional work week to 35 hours. He has also spoken in support of legalizing cannabis and increased investment in renewable energy. Valls, on the other hand, has called himself a more "Clintonite" leftist with a strong belief in pragmatism and individual responsibility.

 
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