News

13.04.2017

Canada may legalise recreational marijuana soon

Canada's government is aiming to pass legislation that will legalise the recreational use of marijuana: the federal government is scheduled to table in Parliament legislation that will legalize the recreational sale of marijuana in the country. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has acknowledged that will require selling cannabis at a price that is equal to or cheaper than its going rates on the black market and he has already endorsed one of its key recommendations: that marijuana should be legal for people who are of legal drinking age – 18 or 19 years old, depending on the province they live in.

 
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13.04.2017

Facebook Messenger without rival: plus 1.2 mln users per month

Facebook Messenger now has over 1.2 billion monthly active users, with the platform adding 200 million users in just eight months.  The milestone, announced ahead of Facebook's annual conference for software developers next week by head of Messenger David Marcus, is key to Facebook's push to own more of people's time and wallets on mobile devices as the arms race with Google and other competitors escalates.

 
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13.04.2017

Swiss government tries to ban cantons supervisors

The Swiss federal government has published draft legislation aimed at preventing local governments from being represented on the boards of regional pension fund supervisors. The proposal runs counter to that of a parliamentary initiative on the subject and means that there is now “competition” between the two, according to Dominique Favre, director at As-So, the supervisory authority for occupational pensions in western Switzerland. The reform proposal, announced by the government last week, was presented mainly as “modernising” the first pillar, but it also touches on aspects of the second pillar.

 
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12.04.2017

Pietro Ugazzi of Compass-AM explains the recent developments for his company-second part

What are the scenarios of roboadvisory? «According to our experience, it will take quite a lot of time before roboadvisory reaches a level of professionalism and competence. We believe that one day there will be a mix: the discretion of those investing in my opinion may be reduced but if customers want tailor-made solutions, the presence of man will always be necessary.

 
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12.04.2017

This time is really different (by W. Snyder)

Germany and China continue to have great trade surpluses while the US trade deficit has not yet been corrected by the Trump administration. Oil is still the most important source of energy with the Middle East a main supplier. Given these additional factors, it should be clear that any disturbance will have far-reaching consequences since the Fed, ECB and BoJ cannot lower interest rates to fend off a recession or depression. The huge injections of liquidity into the global financial system in recent years have had the result among others of producing little or no growth.

 
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12.04.2017

Switzerland: you can't sublet on Airbnb without landlord's permit

The case: a tenant in Zurich neglected to tell the apartment’s owner that he intended to put the flat on online rental platform Airbnb. In October 2015 the man moved into the apartment for which he would pay a fixed monthly rent of 3,000 francs.  The Zurich Tenancy Court, a specialized court for disputes amongst tenants and landlords - ruled in a decision published last week that a tenant is basically allowed to provide his or her apartment via Airbnb to paying guests, thereby applying four tests: the tenant-host must obtain the general consent of the landlord and thereby disclose the conditions of the sub-rent. The subrental payments cannot be abusive and the landlord may not suffer any substantial disadvantages from the sub-rent.

 
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12.04.2017

MUSIC TECH STARTUPS: The economical and logistic advantage of artists getting in touch with their fans

Startups in the music industry are nowadays flourishing, trying to answer some of the questions that the same technology that allows their existence is posing. Data security, secondary ticketing, royalties, hit music: every topic has someone covering it in more or less successful ways. The social media help ask these questions but also spread the word about these startups, while many of them get a kickstart from incubators. Marketplus is running a special regarding these startups.  Daniela Grecnerova is co-founder of TootToot, one of the startups that were singled out as Top 10 Music Start-ups to Watch at Eurosonic 2017. TootToot is, as she explains, both a social network putting fans in contact with artists and a ticketing company: «We started as a platform for fans and artists to get closer to each other - we created a platform that is designed for concert requests - to be simple but effective and powerful. Then we added our own ticketing solution - it was the natural following step. Also, we cooperate with other ticketing companies as affiliate partners to provide our users with a complete calendar of events tailor-made for everyone according to his/her music taste and requests». 

 
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12.04.2017

Barry Callebaut to outperform the market in the next months

The Barry Callebaut Group, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, saw sales volume growth picking up to +3.5% in the second quarter (first quarter -0.4%), leading to a topline growth for the first six months of fiscal year 2016/17 of +1.4% to 946,782 tons. This contrasts with the -2.1% decline of the global chocolate confectionery market during the same period (Nielsen, Aug 2016-Jan 2017). "Markets are difficult everywhere, particularly in confectionery in the United States," Chief Executive Antoine de Saint-Affrique told reporters on a call on Wednesday, adding he expected to see an improvement in Europe this year and expected the good momentum for the company to continue. 

 
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12.04.2017

Expert Commentary: Timo Klein, Senior Economist at IHS Markit, on German economy

The German Business Climate Index released on March 27 hit the record high since mid-2011. Does that mean that German companies are, in general, indifferent to the existing political uncertainties, such as the US President Donald Trump's protectionist policy, the upcoming elections in Germany and France and hot disputes about the two-speed Europe idea? I would not say that they are completely indifferent. The Business Climate Index did show an initial reaction to the Brexit referendum decision back in the middle of 2016; however, despite the political uncertainties, the overall global demand picture has actually brightened up over the last six to nine months. Indeed, this is something the German economy benefits very much from due to the importance of its export industry. And the fact that we have seen the Euro weakening over the last year or so helped additionally. This is the result of the US reserves tightening up, while the ECB is not prepared to change its monetary policy yet. 

 
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11.04.2017

Belgium, the country with the heaviest tax system

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reported on Tuesday that Belgium has the highest tax rate when comparing 35 developed countries around the world while Germany (49.4%), Hungary (48.2 %) and France (48.1%) are also close to the 50 per cent mark. Switzerland is in the end of the ranking, with 21.8%. The lowest were in Chile (7%), New Zealand (17.9%) and Mexico (20.1%).  The OECD calculated each country’s tax wedge - the gap between what employers take home in pay and what it costs to employ them, including personal income tax and social security contributions. 

 
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