Switzerland's federal cabinet approved a new graft bill on Wednesday that would end the tax break for bribes, a reform it decided to pursue almost a year ago. It now goes to the parliament for a vote. But it leaves untouched the practice of letting companies take a deduction for illegal profits seized by regulators, provided these repaid sums - known as disgorgements - do not meet the formal definition of a penalty for criminal behaviour.
Swiss private bank Julius Baer said on Thursday its assets under management rose 9% in the first ten months of 2016 to 327 billion Swiss francs ($326.45 billion), up from 311 billion francs in the first half of the year. Switzerland's third-largest listed bank said net new money in the year to date on an annualised basis was close to 4%, the bottom end of its medium-term target range of 4-6%.
New York’s Upper 5th Avenue remains the world’s most expensive retail street, narrowly ahead of Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay. Paris’ Avenue des Champs Élysées, where annual rents are €13,255.2 per square metre, is third, London’s New Bond Street is fourth (€12,433.6 sq.m/yr) with Tokyo’s Ginza leap frogging into fifth place with annual rents totaling €12,102.9 sq.m/yr.
Business confidence in Switzerland registered its highest gain in five months, while economic sentiment for a third consecutive month in November on expectations that the momentum of economic development is set to hold steady in the next six months. The ZEW-Credit Suisse Indicator for the economic sentiment in Switzerland increased by 3.7 points to a current reading of 8.9 points. In contrast, there was a decline in the current conditions to 14.7 from 17.9 previously.
On November 7, one of Israel’s leading diamond corporations, the Dalumi Group, announced that it had purchased a company called Zoara.com, an online luxury jewelry retailer that is active in more than 40 countries, selling loose diamonds, diamond engagement rings and diamond jewelry. Founded in 2008, Zoara.com is an e-commerce platform devoted to the exclusive sale of loose diamonds, luxury jewelry and precious gemstones. Operating on a multilingual and multi-currency digital platform, local versions of its website are available the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Valenzuela, Peru, Mexico, Spain, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China. According to the announcement put out by the two companies, Zoara.com will now enjoy direct access to wholesale suppliers within the diamond industry, enabling it to present an updated online product catalog of luxury jewelry and more than 200,000 loose diamonds, which the companies said is unprecedented in terms of its volume and variety in the market.
British consumer prices dropped unexpectedly last month, despite the steep fall in the value of the British Pound after the Brexit vote, official data showed on Tuesday. According to the Office for National Statistics, the Consumer Price Index advanced 0.9% year-over-year in October, compared to the preceding month's 1.0% rise. That was below the 1.1% market forecast, who suggested that the weak Sterling would lift inflation last month. Nevertheless, the ONS said factory gate prices increased 2.1%, faster than expected and the largest increase since April 2012.
Leonteq, Zurich-based group specializing in structured investment products, intends to reduce the cost by 10 million Swiss francs within the end of 2017. The group, it said in a note today, plans to cut 50 jobs worldwide. The Zurich company will waive new hires. The Leonteq's staff should reach 480 units. Since 2018, however, the rate of new hires should grow by 5% a year.
Singapore's central bank is working with major lenders in Japan, the U.S. and Europe to begin testing a blockchain-based transaction system by the end of year. Ravi Menon, the managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said the initiative is supported by the R3 blockchain research lab and BCS Information Systems.
IWC Schaffhausen watches costing as much as $121,000 will go on sale at Mr Porter and Net-A-Porter on November 18, as the Swiss watchmaker tests whether online shoppers might help pull it out of an industry slump. IWC has never before partnered with an online-only luxury retailer; Net-A-Porter will launch with a curated selection of timepieces across the Pilot’s Watches and Portofino families.
Roche will launch a CHF 100 million ($100.1 million) global network of 21 academic centers focused on cancer immunotherapy R&D, as the it reported in the statement today. This network, imCORE, brings together many of the world’s leading scientific and clinical experts in cancer immunotherapy to collaborate in investigating the most promising new treatment approaches. In addition to new treatments, imCORE will work with Roche to develop diagnostic technologies and gather and apply emerging data, Roche said.
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