The European Central Bank will extend its asset purchase program to the end of December 2017, but at a reduced monthly pace. The ECB said on Thursday it would extend its so-called quantitative easing program by nine months, until at least the end of next year, taking its total size above €2.2 trillion ($2.36 trillion). But starting in April, the bank will reduce the value of securities it buys per month to €60 billion from €80 billion.
Switzerland has been the biggest loser over the past decade in a list of the world’s 500 largest asset managers. Its share of assets under management held in the listed companies more than halved from 8.6% in 2005 to 4% last year. The United States, on the other hand, has constantly strengthened its position and now manages 52.5% of total global assets, revealed research by Pensions & Investments/Willis Towers Watson published on Tuesday. This is up 10.6 percentage points since 2005. Within a decade, growth in the US at Switzerland’s expense has knocked the country from third position in 2005 (behind the US and Britain) to seventh in 2015 (behind the US, Britain, France, Germany, Japan and Canada).
Donald Trump, the US President-elect who bitterly divided his nation, has been named TIME magazine's Person of the Year. In fact, the cover of the magazine called him the "President of the Divided States of America." Time editor Nancy Gibbs explained: “For all of Trump’s public life, tastemakers and intellectuals have dismissed him as a vulgarian and carnival barker, a showman with big flash and little substance. “But what those critics never understood was that their disdain gave him strength.” Trump was described by the magazine as having “upended the leadership of both major political parties and effectively shifted the political direction of the international order."
The foreign exchange reserves of the Swiss national Bank rose by CHF 17.6 billion in November to CHF 648 billion, setting a new record. During the month of October, the variation was more subdued as it increased by CHF 2.4 billion to CHF 630.4 billion. The SNB’s reserves are roughly equal to Switzerland’s entire gross domestic product. It was the biggest increase since December 2014, the month before the SNB abandoned a ceiling it had maintained for over three years on the franc’s value against the euro.
Switzerland has boosted anti-money laundering measures over the last decade but could still do more to prevent financial crime, the inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF) said on Wednesday, in his report. Once a haven for untaxed and illicit assets, the small but influential finance hub has been stung into action by a global push to combat money laundering and financial crime. That has led to considerable improvement in its efforts since 2005, the global task force said. “Since its previous FATF assessment in 2005, Switzerland has strengthened its AML/CFT (anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing) regime,” the Paris-based intergovernmental body said in a statement on Wednesday.
The European Union has given Microsoft the green light over its $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn, CNBC reports. As expected, the EU has put some conditions in the deal. As expected, the EU has put some conditions in the deal. The European Commission granted its approval on the condition that Microsoft allows rival professional networking sites to integrate its Office applications and cloud-computing services for the next five years. PC makers in the EU will also have the option of not installing LinkedIn's app, Microsoft said.
Credit Suisse announced on Wedsneday more than CHF1 billion ($991 million) in extra cost cuts, as Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam looks to compensate for challenging conditions which have hampered his restructuring of the lender as Reuters report. In a statement ahead of its investor day, the bank lowered its operating cost base target for 2018 to below 17 billion francs from below 18 billion francs. It also increased planned net cost savings target to greater than 4.2 billion francs by end-2018 from 3.2 billion.
Netflix yesterday briefly became the number one top-grossing iOS app in the U.S. for the first time, holding at bay the likes of Spotify and Candy Crush Saga for most of Monday. The app also occupied the coveted top spot on iPhone in India, Mexico, and Colombia yesterday, as noted by app tracking company SensorTower, which offered a timeline leading up to the achievement in a blog post. The accomplishment comes approximately one year after Netflix introduced the ability for users to pay the monthly subscription fee as an in-app purchase. Between then and today, Netflix has grown its weekly net revenue from under $50,000 to nearly $2.9 million, its report says.
SIX Payment Services and Alipay, the third-party payment and lifestyle platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group, announced their close cooperation for the acceptance of POS and E- Commerce payments across Europe. Under the terms of the agreement, Alipay’s payment service will be integrated into the payment application of SIX in order to enable merchant clients of SIX to accept Alipay payments from Alipay users. SIX currently has a customer base of 220,000 merchants locations, principally in Switzerland, Luxemburg, Austria, Germany.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has left interest rates on hold at an historic low of 1.5% as widely expected and flagged that some "slowing in the year-ended growth rate is likely" before picking up again. The RBA has cut rates twice this year, in May to 1.75 per cent and in August to its current historic low. The last time the official cash rate increased was November 2010. All 64 economists polled by Reuters expected the RBA to keep rates on hold at today's meeting, the last of the year.
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