UBS published its Annual Report 2016 providing detailed information, showing that it lowered the total pay for its chief executive Sergio Ermotti in 2016, a year in which the bank's net profit was cut nearly in half compared with a year earlier. Zurich-based UBS said on Friday that total compensation for CEO fell to 13.7 million Swiss francs ($13.5 million) in 2016 from 14.3 million francs a year earlier. Mr. Ermotti's base salary remained unchanged at 2.5 million francs, according to a public filing, and he received a smaller bonus compared with 2015. Overall, UBS decreased its 2016 bonus pool by 17% compared with the year before, to 2.9 billion francs.
Uber Technologies’ self-driving cars could be returning to California soon after state authorities permitted the company to test the vehicles. The ride-hailing company is now listed by the California Department of Motor Vehicles as one of over 20 companies, including Waymo, Tesla and Baidu, that have been issued autonomous vehicle testing permits as of Wednesday. Uber received a permit to test two Volvo SUVs on public roads, the California Department of Motor Vehicles said. Regulators also approved 48 people as backup drivers who must sit behind the wheel in case the prototype cars malfunction, according to agency spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez.
The headline Swiss unemployment rate declined to 3.6% for February from 3.7% the previous month. The rate was unchanged from the 3.6% recorded in February 2016. The seasonally-adjusted rate was unchanged at 3.3% for the month and there has been no change in the adjusted rate for nine months. Youth unemployment, which applies to the 15 to 24 age group, declined 6.7% on the year which will help boost confidence in the labour market. The stock of vacancies declined significantly on the month, although there was still a small 0.3% increase on the year and there was a significant increase in new reported vacancies on the month which is also an encouraging sign.
A senior executive at Credit Suisse Taiwan Elsa Chiu and her husband were released on bail early Wednesday after being interrogate about alleged insider trading in the takeover of Hermes Microvision by ASML of the Netherlands, Taipei District Prosecutors Office spokesman Chang Chieh-Chin told Reuters. "During the merger and acquisition activities, there were some trading irregularities, and the stock exchange regulator detected this irregular trading," said Chang, who is also a deputy chief prosecutor.
More Americans are traveling to Switzerland, visiting cities and mountain regions alike. U.S. arrivals and overnights increased again in 2016 compared to the previous year. For the seventh consecutive year, there has been an increase, showing total growth of more than 30% since 2009. Last year the Alpine country welcomed 854.687 americans tourists. The number of overnight hotel stays by US visitors also grew in 2016 to 1.84 million, a 5.5% increase from 2015. “Switzerland is the best country in the world, according to a recent study by U.S. News &World Report. This will hopefully motivate even more Americans to find their way – or their way back – to Switzerland,“ said Alex Herrmann, Director Americas, Switzerland Tourism.
Liechtenstein will host today the Finance Forum where one of the topics covered will be Philanthropy. The University of Liechtenstein will be part of the conference, as explained by professor Francesco Schurr, Chair of Company, Foundation and Trust Law. «Banks and finance institutes are facing far-reaching upheavals such as strict regulations or low interest rates etc. What conditions are needed for the financial centre of Liechtenstein to continue its excellent services? Who is going to be the future target group? The topics of this year’s event include a broad range and cover themes like the digitalization of the financial centre, philanthropy, investment decision, data security and data protection. Of central importance is the question, how to push the growth of the financial centre Liechtenstein. International experts will discuss those topics from different perspectives and will define common goals for national activities».
The Italian inland revenue service, L'Agenzia delle Entrate, on Wednesday applied a new flat tax aimed at attracting wealthy foreigners to Italy in a bid to compete with similar incentives offered in Britain and Spain, which have successfully attracted a slew of rich footballers and entertainers. The new flat rate tax of €100,000 a year will apply to all worldwide income for foreigners who declare Italy to be their residency for tax purposes. The measure, proposed in Italy's 2017 budget, is expected to immediately draw in at least a thousand people, according to local media.
The European Patent Office (EPO) granted a record number of European patents in 2016, while the US led the charge for applications. According to a report released on Tuesday, the EPO granted 96,000 European patents in 2016, an increase of 40% year-on-year, which is due to “effective measures” to improve the EPO’s productivity. “The figure is an indicator of the growing demand for patent protection from businesses worldwide,” said the EPO. It also recorded an “unprecedented” level of patent filings in 2016, reaching more than 296,000, an increase of 6.2% compared with 2015.
Nestlé Austria has announced plans to close its production facility in Linz by March 2018, as part of an 'ongoing evaluation' of its portfolio. The factory, which has been operating for nearly 140 years with an output of roughly 6,000 tonnes of food products, has been effected by changing consumer trends which have affected demand. The factory in Linz specialised in products for its business to business division. On 7 March, the management informed the plant's 127 employees of the decision, and is collaborating with the Works Council and employee representatives to find 'socially acceptable solutions'.
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