Switzerland’s population rose by 90’600 in 2016: at the end of the year, 8,417,700 people were living in Switzerland, up 90,600 from two years ago, the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (FSO) reported Thursday. If this growth rate of 1.1% were extrapolated forward on a compounding basis, Switzerland’s population would double in 64 years. The increase in 2016 was due to net birth-death related growth of 21,100, and net immigration, which added 75,5002. In 2016 there were 85,700 births and 64,600 deaths. Statistics show that a quarter of Switzerland's permanent population is foreign. Representing some 2,100,100 people, the number of foreigners living on Swiss soil increased 2.5 percent from 2015. 86,700 foreigners left Switzerland across the year, resulting in a net inflow of 81,600 foreigners.
Mexican prosecutors say that Tomás Yarrington, the 59-year-old former governor of Mexico’s north-eastern state of Tamaulipas, had been wanted by authorities for nearly five years and has been detained by police in Florence, Italy, according to Mexico’s attorney-general’s office. He is expected to be extradited to Mexico within days. The attorney general's office said Sunday that ex-Gov. Tomas Yarrington is accused in Mexico of money laundering and organized crime.
Finally, the integration of the Swiss business of Banca Svizzera Italiana (BSI) into EFG Bank has been completed. From this moment, the majority of the customer relationships and employees of BSI are transferred, as EFG referred in a media release. The combined business will now be launched on the market under the name EFG. EFG International said it completed the legal integration of "substantially all" of BSI SA's Swiss business into EFG Bank AG, a 100 percent subsidiary of EFG International. The remaining BSI entities in Luxembourg and Monaco are expected to be integrated in the course of the second quarter of 2017, EFG said.
JP Morgan’s corporate investment banking division CEO Daniel Pinto announced Tuesday that one of the bank’s clients used their cell phone to make a $100 million trade. One of the most respected senior executives in the industry highlights the changes that are coming to institutional FX trading at a time when his company invested $9.5 billion in new technology. Pinto’s announcement Tuesday may be proof the investments were worth the risk.
On April 1, a new law went into effect in Japan allowing for the country’s first officially recognized bitcoin exchange. The creation of a bitcoin exchange has been a long time coming in Japan. The law was originally drafted in May of 2016 and amended Japan’s Payment Services Act (PSA) in four ways. First, the law officially recognizes and defines virtual currencies. Second, it allows the official registration of virtual currency exchanges. Third, it requires that virtual currency exchanges submit certain disclosures and undergo periodic audits. And finally, it forces virtual currency exchanges to submit to regulatory supervision by requiring them to maintain books and records, file audit reports, and submit to on-site examinations among others.
When we want to invest in stock indices, sometimes we are very focused on large, medium or small capitalization indices. Sometimes we try to understand if it is better to invest in value stocks rather than growth stocks, and sometimes we follow only the sector indices that fundamentals indicate us more attractive for that period. But in Europe there is an index representing one of the Super Sectors of the Stoxx 600, which has always performed in an excellent way, and in the last twenty years has beaten the S&P 500 and the Stoxx 600 (see the graph below). This index is the Stoxx Europe 600 Personal & Household Goods Index.
A large beer truck crashed into an upscale department store in central Stockholm on Friday, killing at least two people, according to Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, who said all indications were that it was a terror attack. One person was arrested. But a spokesperson for the police said they cannot confirm whether anyone had been arrested yet, according to Reuters. "We are thinking of the dead and the injured and their families. I am urging the public to be vigilant and keep updating the police," Lofven said.
Google has launched a new feature on Search and News which shows a "Fact Check" label for certain links, indicating whether a third-party fact-checking organization has found the story factual or not. In October, the search giant introduced the fact check label for Google News in a few countries. But now the company is expanding use of the tag to search, as well as Google News in every other country where it's available.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits decreased more than expected last week, hitting the lowest level over the past five weeks, official figures revealed on Thursday. The US Department of Labour reported initial jobless claims fell 25,000 to a total of 234,000 in the week ended April 1, down from the preceding week's upwardly revised reading of 259,000. This was the biggest weekly decline since April 2015. Meanwhile, market analysts expected unemployment claims to plunge only 251,000 during the reported week. The number of job-seeking persons decreased from 2,052,000 to 2,028,000, thus, affecting the moving average, which hit its lowest level since June 2000. At the same time, the seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate of 1.5% remained unchanged from last week. In general, the fact that jobless claims have been fluctuating around 260,000 for more than two years, indicating that the US has a healthy labour market. In addition, the largest spike in unemployment claims was recorded in New York, Texas, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and California, while the largest drop in unemployment happened in Ohio, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky.
According to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) surveys, 152,280 unemployed persons were registered at the Regional Employment Services Centers (RAV) at the end of March 2017, 7,529 less than in the previous month. The unemployment rate thus fell from 3.6% in February 2017 to 3.4% in the reporting month. Compared to the previous month, unemployment fell by 3,044 (-2.0%). Youth unemployment (15 to 24 year olds) in March 2017 decreased by 1,545 persons (-8.1%) to 17,563. Compared to the previous year, this corresponds to a decrease of 1'344 persons (-7.1%).
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