News

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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11.04.2017

The whistleblowing case shakes Barclays board

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) have placed the chief executive of Barclays, Jes Staley,  under investigation after he reportedly tried to discover the identity of a whistleblower, prompting experts to warn that the case could deter employees from reporting bad behaviour. Barclays said it never learned the identity.

 
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11.04.2017

Toshiba warns over its future

Toshiba on Tuesday warned its survival was at risk as the struggling Japanese industrial giant reported a loss of $4.8 billion in long-overdue financial results. The company, a colossus of corporate Japan with 188,000 employees globally, had been threatened with expulsion from the Tokyo Stock Exchange unless it met the extended deadline of Tuesday to file its accounts.

 
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11.04.2017

SIX to ease exchange of data information for Swiss banks

National tax authorities around the world must exchange individuals’ tax information in a standardized way, known as the Common Reporting Standard (CRS). As of January 2017, all financial institutions in Switzerland must begin collecting client data ready to report to the Swiss national tax authority starting from June 2018 onwards.  The automatic exchange of information (AEoI) places a significant organizational burden on financial institutions. On Monday, SIX launched a new CRS/AEoI service, which will help financial institutions manage the huge challenge of reporting clients’ information correctly by providing the right data so banks can easily aggregate it at years’ end and standardize their reporting obligations.

 
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11.04.2017

US, Mexico, Canada: joint-venture to host the richest World Cup in 2026

The football associations of the United States, Canada and Mexico have announced their intention to submit a joint bid to host the 2026 World Cup. The CONCACAF countries confirmed their plan to bring the tournament to North America at a press conference at One World Trade Centre in New York. "Especially with what's going on in the world today, we believe this is a hugely positive signal and symbol of what we can do together in unifying people," U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati said at Monday's bid launch, "especially in our three countries." Gulati didn't directly mention President Donald Trump in that particular remark, but the impact of the policies of the fledging administration on a World Cup bid involving feuding neighbors was a constant theme during the press conference.

 
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11.04.2017

Swiss executives ask for new treaty with EU

A survey of 2,500 Swiss companies by UBS bank found 65% of chief executives believed there would be further withdrawals from the embattled union, after Britain became the first nation in EU history to rescind its membership. The poll underlined the importance that Swiss business leaders assign to relations with their biggest export market even as Britain's vote to leave the bloc undermines some EU cohesion. The survey released on Monday showed 65 percent of respondents want an institutional framework agreement with the EU, 27 percent favour keeping the existing bilateral accords, and 8 percent back scrapping the bilateral agreements.

 
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10.04.2017

Swiss population grows, 25% are foreigners

Switzerland’s population rose by 90’600 in 2016: at the end of the year, 8,417,700 people were living in Switzerland, up 90,600 from two years ago, the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (FSO) reported Thursday. If this growth rate of 1.1% were extrapolated forward on a compounding basis, Switzerland’s population would double in 64 years. The increase in 2016 was due to net birth-death related growth of 21,100, and net immigration, which added 75,5002. In 2016 there were 85,700 births and 64,600 deaths. Statistics show that a quarter of Switzerland's permanent population is foreign. Representing some 2,100,100 people, the number of foreigners living on Swiss soil increased 2.5 percent from 2015. 86,700 foreigners left Switzerland across the year, resulting in a net inflow of 81,600 foreigners.

 
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10.04.2017

Fugitive former Mexican Governor caught in Italy

Mexican prosecutors say that Tomás Yarrington, the 59-year-old former governor of Mexico’s north-eastern state of Tamaulipas, had been wanted by authorities for nearly five years and has been detained by police in Florence, Italy, according to Mexico’s attorney-general’s office. He is expected to be extradited to Mexico within days. The attorney general's office said Sunday that ex-Gov. Tomas Yarrington is accused in Mexico of money laundering and organized crime. 

 
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10.04.2017

EFG completes integration, by-bye BSI

Finally, the integration of the Swiss business of Banca Svizzera Italiana (BSI) into EFG Bank has been completed. From this moment, the majority of the customer relationships and employees of BSI are transferred, as EFG referred in a media release. The combined business will now be launched on the market under the name EFG. EFG International said it completed the legal integration of "substantially all" of BSI SA's Swiss business into EFG Bank AG, a 100 percent subsidiary of EFG International. The remaining BSI entities in Luxembourg and Monaco are expected to be integrated in the course of the second quarter of 2017, EFG said.

 
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