Germany completed the transfer of $13 billion in gold reserves from New York to Frankfurt, the Bundesbank announced on Thursday. The transfer is one step in a plan developed by Germany’s central bank in 2013 that aims to repatriate half the gold reserves it keeps abroad during the Cold War. The final transfer is expected from Paris later this year, completing the project three years ahead of schedule. Stashed away at the height of the Cold War in safe havens well out of Moscow's reach, the 3,378-tonne, 120 billion-euro gold stockpile has become a symbol of Germany's economic ascent and a guardian of its stability. Germany is not bringing home its gold bullion in response to concerns about President Trump’s monetary policy, officials said.
PSA Group is discussing a potential acquisition of rival European carmaker Opel from General Motors, a spokesman for the French automaker said on Tuesday. "PSA confirms that it is exploring a number of strategic initiatives with GM with the aim of increasing its profitability and operating efficiency, including a potential acquisition of Opel," company spokesman Bertrand Blaise said.
The EU is “very disappointed” in the Swiss people’s rejection of the government’s corporate tax reform plan, the EU’s tax commissioner MOscovici said on Monday. Voters on Sunday blocked the tax system revamp, sending the Swiss government back to the drawing board as it tries to abolish ultra-low tax rates for multinationals without triggering a mass exodus by those companies. "The Commission is very disappointed by the results of a referendum in Switzerland," Moscovici told a news conference. "The rejection of the reform and referendum means we need to redouble our efforts when it comes to taxation. The Commission plans to consult the member states so we can decide together how to proceed," he said.
Credit Suisse has reported a net loss of 2.347 billion Swiss francs ($2.337 billion) for the fourth quarter of 2016 as the bank felt the impact of a $5.28 billion fine from the U.S. Department of Justice. The fine in December stems from the bank's sale of toxic mortgage assets in the lead up to the 2008 global financial crisis and brings an end to a "major source of uncertainty" for the bank, according to Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam. It said Tuesday it recorded a provision of approximately $2 billion during the fourth quarter of 2016 for this penalty, in addition to existing provisions of $550 million in prior periods.
Voters rejected plans to overhaul Switzerland’s corporate tax system. Corporate tax reform III was rejected by popular referendum on Sunday, with 59.1% of the population voting against the Swiss government proposal. The “yes” won only in four cantons: Nidwalden, Ticino, Vaud, and Zug. The aim of the reform was to make the Swiss tax system more acceptable internationally. The government had hoped to secure approval for changes that would keep corporate tax rates globally competitive while abolishing special treatment for many multinational companies. “It will not be possible to find a solution overnight,” Ueli Maurer, the Swiss finance minister, said at a news conference in Bern, adding that it could take a year to come up with a new plan and years more to enact it.
The Dow has gone over 20,000, a historic high. As of 10th February it was at 20,269.37. The SPX was also flying high at 2,316.10. “All is well that ends well” can certainly be said for the past week`s performance in the markets. As is well known, however, history and past performance are no guarantee for the future.
Although the US election is over, the problem of fake news isn’t. Apple CEO Tim Cook said it’s time to do something about it. “All of us technology companies need to create some tools that help diminish the volume of fake news,” Cook said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph on Friday. Cook also called for governments to lead information campaigns to crack down on fake news in an interview with a British national newspaper. The scourge of falsehoods in mainstream political discourse came to the fore during recent campaigns, during which supporters of each side were accused of promoting misinformation for political gain.
The Swiss private bank Julius Baer Group said Friday that an unnamed bankrupt European company has sued for €306 million ($326 million) after years of making demands on the bank for not doing enough to prevent two of its account holders from embezzling the company’s assets Baer is contesting the claim and taking what it called "further appropriate measures" to defend its interests, it said in a statement.
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