Swiss consumer confidence strengthened in July, survey results from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, or SECO, showed Wednesday. The consumer confidence index rose to -3 in July from -8 in April. The score came in line with expectations. A similar high score was last posted in January 2017 and was the highest since July 2014.
The Council of the EU has received bids from 23 cities to host the European Banking Authority and the European Medicines Agency, which will be relocated after Brexit. In total eight offers have been made to host the EBA, which regulates the European banking sector, assessing risks and vulnerabilities by carrying out EU-wide stress tests. Some 19 cities are bidding to host the EMA, which is responsible for the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines in the EU and maintains the single market for medicines in the EU.
Jeff Bezos on Thursday briefly topped Bill Gates as the world’s richest man following a spike in Amazon, according to data crunched by Forbes. But if Bill Browder’s numbers are correct, the massive fortunes of both tech giants combined still wouldn’t stack up to the real richest man in the world. US-based Hermitage Capital Management Founder Bill Browder believes the Russian leader is the richest man in the world.
BP beat analyst expectations on Tuesday, despite profits more than halving from the first three months of the year after a hefty charge from an unsuccessful project in Angola. The British oil giant is the last of the world's biggest Western oil companies to report its quarterly earnings. The British oil giant's profits were down from $1.5 billion in the first quarter of 2017 and lower than the $720 million reported over the same period in 2016. Shares of BP were more than 3.6 percent higher during morning deals on Tuesday.
Freedom of movement for millions of British and EU citizens will end in 2019 when Brexit takes effect, the U.K. government insisted on Monday. The statement appeared to rule out transitional post-Brexit arrangements recently raised by a senior British minister. “There were reports last week that we were looking for an off-the-shelf model; we are not looking for an off-the-shelf model. Precisely what the implementation model will look like is up for negotiation,” a government spokesperson said, adding more confusion to Brexit affairs.
On August 1, 2017, the preeminent cryptocurrency is set to break in two: at 12:20 UTC a new cryptocurrency called Bitcoin Cash will be launched. It's based upon Bitmain’s UAHF proposal which was initially created as a contingency plan to thwart the efforts of the UASF, which now looks likely to activate without incident. The split, called a hard fork, will result in two separate and distinct cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Core. It also has the potential to create billions of dollars worth of new cryptocurrency out of thin air.
The eurozone's unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level in more than eight years, but the annual rate of inflation is unchanged, new data showed Monday, highlighting the challenge at the heart of the European Central Bank's decision on dialing down its stimulus programs. The European Union's statistics agency said the proportion of workers without jobs across the 19 countries that use the euro fell to 9.1% in June from 9.2% in May, reaching its lowest level since February 2009. But consumer prices were just 1.3% higher in July than a year earlier, as the rate of inflation was unchanged, at its lowest level in 2017.
Swiss dairy group Emmi is selling its 24% stake in Italian cheese specialist Venchiaredo to focus on markets and sectors with "growth potential". Emmi, which acquired the holding in 2010, is looking to focus its Italian business on desserts, cheese exports from Switzerland and its 25% stake in cheese trader Ambrosi, according to a statement.
HSBC, Europe's largest bank, reported a set of financial results that beat estimates in the first half of 2017 and announced a $2 billion share buyback on the back of a growing capital base. HSBC's profits rose 5% in the first half of the year after a turbulent 2016. The results were better than expected with Europe's largest bank reporting that its pre-tax profit for the first six months to June came in at $10.2bn (£7.8bn), compared with $9.7bn (£7.4bn) for the same period last year, beating Bloomberg analysts' estimates, which had averaged out at a $4.6bn forecast.
Switzerland's central bank on Monday reported a net profit of 1.2 billion Swiss francs for the first half of 2017 as big foreign exchange losses weighed on earnings from its foreign investments. The Swiss National Bank made a profit of 100 million francs from its foreign currency positions, as exchange related losses of 11.8 billion francs almost wiped out the earnings from bonds and shares it holds. The institution's foreign currency investments have ballooned to 728 billion francs, 12% larger than the entire Swiss economy.
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