Since Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States, research and views have been very divided on emerging markets. And, in general, negative views have carried the day. On the one hand, many agreed that the macroeconomic situation and microeconomic fundamentals were in the process of improving and that 2017 would hold some positive surprises in store. On the other hand, the utmost caution was in order, given the threats to launch trade “reprisals” against a number of emerging economies. All in all, having fallen out of grace in late 2016 and early 2017, emerging equities and debt have been among the best performers in their respective asset classes, with gains of 8.8% and 1.75% respectively, as of 15 March and in euros. Where does the consensus stand now?
The Swiss who live abroad will not denounce Postfinance that does not grant them the right to have a credit card. At the meeting in Bern today, the Council represents them (CSE) has decided to give priority to dialogue. The association is still "acting against discrimination banking," it said in a statement. The banks "continue to put a spoke in the wheels of Swiss nationals who live abroad and wish to maintain a banking relationship with their country of origin." The CSE has instructed the Organization of the Swiss Abroad to propose solutions within the month of August.
IBM Security has partnered with SIX, the infrastructure operator for the Swiss financial sector, to integrate IBM Watson for Cyber Security into a new cognitive Security Operations Center (SOC). As part of a new partnership, the SIX SOC powered by IBM will give clients access to the latest IBM cognitive security tools used to fight cybercrime. Watson has been trained on the language of cyber security, ingesting over 1 million security documents, helping security analysts parse thousands of natural language research reports that have never before been accessible to modern security tools.
The EU’s fight against tax evasion is far from over. After a series of tax evasion scandals concerning European countries and companies in recent years, the NGO Oxfam on Monday published a 52-page report, which estimates €25 billion of banker money ended up in tax havens in 2015. It means fewer funds are going into national budgets to pay for things like health care and education. The report probed Europe's 20 largest banks and found that Luxembourg remains one of their most profitable tax havens.
Switzerland has extended a ban on Brazilian meat to 21 processing plants from four as part of Europe-wide safety measures, Swiss authorities said on Sunday. EU veterinary experts recommended reinforced checks on imports of meat from Brazil on Friday after an investigation began there into bribery of food inspectors. The moves are in response to a scandal that emerged last weekend, in which authorities in Brazil suspended over 30 government following allegations that some of the country’s biggest meat processors have been “selling rotten beef and poultry for years”.
Stocks have rallied about 15% at Wall Street since the presidential election of the last November. The Standard & Poor’s 500 hit the 2400 mark at the beginning of March, after four month featured by extremely low volatility, as shown by the VIX index (see Figure 1), a popular measure of the implied volatility of S&P 500 index options, published by the Chicago Board Options Exchange. Such measure is colloquially defined as the fear index since, generally, the VIX has an inverse relationship to the stock market. It tends to increase when stocks decline and vice-versa. A rising stock market is considered as less risky and here is why, during these four months of almost unchanged uptrend, the VIX stood at historically low levels. Now, at the end of March, the VIX is testing its 200 days moving average, after a long accumulation on the historical lows and it is trying to get through the 13 points mark that has been intact since January.
Switzerland’s market for legal cannabis with just 1 percent THC is taking off as producers are having trouble keeping up with demand and the number of registered retailers has grown significantly in the last year, according to a report from Reuters. Authorities expect sales upwards of $30 million this year, but admit even that is a conservative estimate. KannaSwiss, a low-THC cannabis wholesaler, has quadrupled its staff to 20 since last year but co-founder Corso Serra di Cassano said the company is still having trouble keeping up with orders.
Twitter is considering whether to build a premium version of its popular Tweetdeck interface aimed at professionals, the company said on Thursday, raising the possibility that it could collect subscription fees from some users for the first time. The way that this subscription format would manifest would be in the form of a premium version of its popular Tweetdeck service, which is a popular app and website that the firm bought six years ago. It allows users to run multiple accounts out of the one interface, schedule tweets and generally have greater control over their Twitter experiences.
Falcon Private Bank, one of the Swiss banks ensnared in the Malaysian corruption scandal surrounding the troubled 1MDB fund, lost 128 million Swiss francs ($130 million) last year, as it reported in the statement on Thursday. Last October the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) ordered the closure of its Singapore branch due to anti-money laundering (AML) failings in connection with 1MDB. The bank paid a composition fine of $300,000 for breaches of AML requirements and the regulator told the bank to strengthen its controls.
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