EFG International said Italy's central bank wants it out of Milan and Como in connection with alleged compliance weaknesses at recently-acquired Banca della Svizzera Italiana, or BSI. The Zurich-based private bank, under Greek Latsis family control, referred it is in close contact with Banca d'Italia over the closing of its BSI acquisition, and in a statement late on Friday, it said: "EFG International announces that BSI has received a notification by Banca d’Italia requesting the implementation of certain measures, which may result in a closure of the BSI offices in Milan and Como."
The French presidential election has delivered a clear win to Emmanuel Macron. With an estimated 65.8% of the votes going to Macron, compared to 34.2% to Marine Le Pen, he is France’s new president. At the same time the election brought the highest rate of protest votes since 1969. 26% of voters abstained and 9% handed in a blank form. Switzerland’s press and politicians largely consider the election of new French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday as good news. Doris Leuthard, Switzerland’s president, said: “On behalf of the Swiss government I congratulate Mr Macron on his election as president of the French Republic. Switzerland and France are linked by a common language and shared values of liberty and democracy. Based on this I am convinced that we will continue our good neighbourly relationship and that our two countries will pursue and deepen our stable and positive cooperation.”
French voters have elected centrist Emmanuel Macron as the country's youngest president ever, delivering a resounding victory to the unabashedly pro-European former investment banker and strengthening France's place as a central pillar of the European Union. Such a comfortable Macron win is in line with what pollsters have been saying for weeks, with most polls saying that the 39-year-old centrist would win with a lead of around 20 points. His final lead, of 31 points, dwarfed even this. Marine Le Pen, his far-right opponent in the presidential runoff, quickly called the 39-year-old to concede defeat after voters rejected her "French-first" nationalism by a large margin. Macron swept the board geographically, with Le Pen winning just two of France's 107 departments.
Flows into European stocks gathered momentum since the end of April, in a resurging trend that accelerated sharply in the first week of May, reflecting a new positive sentiment towards the European markets after that investors had run off in 2016 and now, in just one week, poured 2,5 billions into European equity funds. Many reasons explain this new positive sentiment, from the evaporation of political risk after the French vote, to an improved economic confidence after that the ECB president Mario Draghi expressed optimism about the region’s economic recovery, still keeping the actual monetary stimulus.
A Spanish court is probing seven former executives of HSBC's private Swiss bank on suspicion of money laundering following an investigation of documents in the 'Swissleaks' scandal on bank-supported tax evasion, legal sources have said. In an order dated January but not published until now, the National High Court named seven persons under suspicion of "persistent money laundering and criminal association" who in 2006 and 2007 held senior positions at the Swiss subsidiary of HSBC. According to a court document released on Thursday, the suspects include two former heads of HSBC private banking operations, Christopher Meares and Clive Bannister. HSBC declined to comment.
Christie’s auction of Magnificent Jewels on May 17 at the ultra-luxe Four Seasons des Bergues hotel in Geneva will feature La Légende, a 92-carat D color Flawless heart-shaped diamond pendant signed by Boehmer et Bassenge. La Légende is a diamond and cultured pearl necklace set with a 92.15-carat heart shaped, D color, Flawless diamond pendant. Suspended from a cultured pearl sautoir, it has a pre-sale estimate of $14 million-$20 million and will be the largest D Flawless heart shaped diamond ever to be offered at auction.
Google has agreed to pay the internal revenue agency €306 million in taxes, sources said Thursday. The Mountain View-based company has been under investigation by Milan prosecutors for the tax years 2009-2013, one of several European probes looking into the tax practices of international companies. A Google spokesman said the deal "resolved without disputes investigations relating to the period between 2002 and 2015". He said "in addition to the taxes already paid in Italy for those years, Google will pay another 306 million euros." Of these, "over 303 million are attributed to Google Italy and less than three million to Google Ireland." The spokesman said Google "confirms its commitment towards Italy and will continue to help the country's online ecosystem grow".
Shareholders in Swiss pesticide and seed giant Syngenta have accepted the company’s takeover by state-owned ChemChina, the companies said Friday, which would be the biggest overseas acquisition by a Chinese firm. The proposed merger is part of a broader wave of consolidation in the agro-chemicals sector that has worried environmental activists and farmers. At the closing date for the offer on May 4, shareholders holding around 80.7 percent of the company’s stock had accepted the US$43-billion takeover, according to a preliminary count. Subject to confirmation of the results, “the Minimum Acceptance Rate condition of 67 percent of issued Syngenta shares has been met”, they said in a statement.
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