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.
Deutsche Bank could enter 2017 with one less item to tick off its to-do list, as it has emerged that a potential mega fine from the US Department of Justice (DoJ) could be settled on Wednesday, the Reuters reported. A source told the news outlet there is a good chance Deutsche Bank will reach an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice before Christmas, possibly as early as Wednesday. The source also said the bank is set to pay a penalty well below the $14 billion the DOJ initially demanded. Deutsche has been negotiating the terms of the fine with the DoJ since September, when the US authority targeted it with a $14-billion penalty for its role in the sub-prime mortgage crisis.
The hidden treasure by Italian citizens in Swiss banks has yet to be discovered, according to the chief prosecutor of Milan, Francesco Greco, and liquidity would amount to 150 billion euro, deposited in safes, in denominations of 500 euro. This note is in fact banned because it is considered instrument of money laundering by the Bank of Italy. A large part of the amount, which estimate is the result of cross-checks between MEF, FIU, Bank of Italy and the Guardia di Finanza, would be, according to Mr Greco, mostly in Ticino.
The big event of November was, of course, the election of Donald Trump in the United States. The first thing to keep in mind is the uncertainty surrounding his plans, especially his economic programme. Second, there can be a wide gap between what a candidate says and what he does, once in office. That said, Trump’s statements do provide us with a general outline of at least three complementary scenarios.
The Attorney General of Switzerland Michael Lauber said on Saturday that investigations into the assets of ousted president Hosni Mubarak, his sons and associates are approaching a final phase and that tens of million of Swiss francs have recently been released, state news agency MENA reported. Lauber, in a one-day visit to Cairo, said at a press briefing that 180 million Swiss francs has been unfrozen and released from Swiss banks so far, while another 430 million remains frozen.
The Irish government has today launched an attack on the European Union’s order that it collect €13bn in back taxes from Apple. Ireland accuses the European Commission of misapplying State Aid law, and of attempting to re-write Irish corporation tax rules. In a document released by the Irish government’s Department of Finance, eight points are made about how the EU is overreaching its authority. "The Commission has exceeded its powers and interfered with national tax sovereignty," the document reads. The document was submitted almost four months after the penalty was imposed against Apple which is also appealing. Apple's European headquarters are located in Ireland where the standard rate of corporate tax is 12.5%.
The Swiss National Bank said Monday that it would add 4.6 billion Swiss francs ($4.5 billion) to its financial buffer for currency reserves in an effort to strengthen the central bank's finances against any future bouts of economic weakness, raising the provisions to 62.8 billion francs. "The annual allocation will continue to be determined on the basis of double the average nominal economic growth rate over the previous five years. However, a minimum annual allocation of 8 percent of the provisions will now also apply," the SNB said in a statement.
Ernst & Young (EY), one of the “Big Four” accounting corporations in the world, is leading the Bitcoin industry to the mainstream. For users or employees that are in need of high liquidity, EY also installed a Bitcoin ATM in their public office in Switzerland, enabling its clients and employees to purchase and sell Bitcoins. Most importantly, EY is accepting Bitcoin payments for all of their consulting services, which accounts for around $7.8 bln in 2016. This means that any client can pay globally with Bitcoin to cover services provided by EY.
UBS Group is cutting nearly two dozen jobs in its Asian investment banking business, mainly in Hong Kong and Singapore, as part of a push to slash costs, people with direct knowledge of the matter said, as Reuters reported. UBS in Hong Kong declined to comment to the newswire. The cuts are likely to hit mid-level staff hardest, but will also include several bankers at the rank of Managing Director. Reuters reported last month that Standard Chartered is set to cut about a tenth of its global corporate and institutional banking headcount across all the major business centres starting with Singapore and Hong Kong, as the bank steps up an aggressive drive to cut costs.
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