Switzerland has extended a ban on Brazilian meat to 21 processing plants from four as part of Europe-wide safety measures, Swiss authorities said on Sunday. EU veterinary experts recommended reinforced checks on imports of meat from Brazil on Friday after an investigation began there into bribery of food inspectors. The moves are in response to a scandal that emerged last weekend, in which authorities in Brazil suspended over 30 government following allegations that some of the country’s biggest meat processors have been “selling rotten beef and poultry for years”.
Stocks have rallied about 15% at Wall Street since the presidential election of the last November. The Standard & Poor’s 500 hit the 2400 mark at the beginning of March, after four month featured by extremely low volatility, as shown by the VIX index (see Figure 1), a popular measure of the implied volatility of S&P 500 index options, published by the Chicago Board Options Exchange. Such measure is colloquially defined as the fear index since, generally, the VIX has an inverse relationship to the stock market. It tends to increase when stocks decline and vice-versa. A rising stock market is considered as less risky and here is why, during these four months of almost unchanged uptrend, the VIX stood at historically low levels. Now, at the end of March, the VIX is testing its 200 days moving average, after a long accumulation on the historical lows and it is trying to get through the 13 points mark that has been intact since January.
Switzerland’s market for legal cannabis with just 1 percent THC is taking off as producers are having trouble keeping up with demand and the number of registered retailers has grown significantly in the last year, according to a report from Reuters. Authorities expect sales upwards of $30 million this year, but admit even that is a conservative estimate. KannaSwiss, a low-THC cannabis wholesaler, has quadrupled its staff to 20 since last year but co-founder Corso Serra di Cassano said the company is still having trouble keeping up with orders.
Twitter is considering whether to build a premium version of its popular Tweetdeck interface aimed at professionals, the company said on Thursday, raising the possibility that it could collect subscription fees from some users for the first time. The way that this subscription format would manifest would be in the form of a premium version of its popular Tweetdeck service, which is a popular app and website that the firm bought six years ago. It allows users to run multiple accounts out of the one interface, schedule tweets and generally have greater control over their Twitter experiences.
Falcon Private Bank, one of the Swiss banks ensnared in the Malaysian corruption scandal surrounding the troubled 1MDB fund, lost 128 million Swiss francs ($130 million) last year, as it reported in the statement on Thursday. Last October the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) ordered the closure of its Singapore branch due to anti-money laundering (AML) failings in connection with 1MDB. The bank paid a composition fine of $300,000 for breaches of AML requirements and the regulator told the bank to strengthen its controls.
The yellow metal traders are expecting the fundamentally important vote on US healthcare, which will reveal, whether Donald Trump can get legislation passed. Due to that reason the bullion bounced around the 1,245 mark on Friday morning. From a technical perspective the commodity price is squeezed in between the weekly R1 at 1,242.38 and the 50.00% Fibonacci retracement level at 1,248.96, which is enforced by the long term downward trend line at 1,250.12. Due to this trend line it can be assumed that the legislative bill will not be passed. However, it might as well be easily broken, and market participants should stay vigilant.
The Hungarian government is allegedly backing out of a draft bill that would ban the use of what it calls “totalitarian symbols” for commercial purposes. It will go to extreme lengths to achieve its goal, which may have consequences for Heineken, because the brand’s iconic red star is a target. Under the bill symbols such as the swastika, the arrow cross, the sickle and hammer and the red star would be banned for commercial use 30 days after it is approved by Parliament. Violating the ban after January 1, 2018 would constitute a criminal offence. Anyone in breach of the proposed law could face a fine of 2bn forint (€6.5m) and two years’ jail.
Credit Suisse increased its bonus pool by 6%, defying a trend toward smaller payouts at many of its peers in an effort to prevent an exodus of talent from its investment banking and Asian operations. That followed a second straight year in the red for the bank amid a major restructuring and steep penalties for the sale of toxic mortgage debt in the run-up to the financial crisis. CEO Tidjane Thiam's pay for his first full year in the job swelled to 11.9 million Swiss francs ($12 million), the 2016 annual report of Switzerland's second-biggest bank showed on Friday. This compared with the 4.57 million francs he earned in 2015 after joining the bank on June 22.
UBS, the world’s biggest wealth manager, will impose a penalty charge on customers who park euros with the bank, a reaction to the negative interest rate environment in the euro zone. The Swiss bank, the world’s largest wealth manager, will introduce from May an annual fee of 0.6% on accounts with more than €1 million ($1.1 mln). The charge will apply to total amounts held by individual customers and be calculated on a daily basis. It comes in response to the ultra-low or negative European Central Bank rates, in the wake of the financial crisis, which have eaten into banks’ margins. UBS currently imposes an individual deposit charge for large account balances held in Swiss francs by corporate, institutional and certain very wealthy clients, as it deals with negative interest rates charged by the Swiss National Bank.
Switzerland's central bank bought another 67.1 billion Swiss francs ($67.6 billion) worth of foreign currencies in 2016, almost a quarter less than the previous year, in its effort to fight the appreciation of the safe-haven franc. The sum, published in the central bank’s annual report on Thursday, compares with a 2015 tally of 86.1 billion francs and a record of 188 billion spent in 2012. "These interventions occurred mainly at times of heightened uncertainty, when the Swiss franc was particularly sought after as a safe investment," the Swiss National Bank said in its annual report published on Thursday.
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