The Swiss National Bank said Monday that it would add 4.6 billion Swiss francs ($4.5 billion) to its financial buffer for currency reserves in an effort to strengthen the central bank's finances against any future bouts of economic weakness, raising the provisions to 62.8 billion francs. "The annual allocation will continue to be determined on the basis of double the average nominal economic growth rate over the previous five years. However, a minimum annual allocation of 8 percent of the provisions will now also apply," the SNB said in a statement.
Ernst & Young (EY), one of the “Big Four” accounting corporations in the world, is leading the Bitcoin industry to the mainstream. For users or employees that are in need of high liquidity, EY also installed a Bitcoin ATM in their public office in Switzerland, enabling its clients and employees to purchase and sell Bitcoins. Most importantly, EY is accepting Bitcoin payments for all of their consulting services, which accounts for around $7.8 bln in 2016. This means that any client can pay globally with Bitcoin to cover services provided by EY.
UBS Group is cutting nearly two dozen jobs in its Asian investment banking business, mainly in Hong Kong and Singapore, as part of a push to slash costs, people with direct knowledge of the matter said, as Reuters reported. UBS in Hong Kong declined to comment to the newswire. The cuts are likely to hit mid-level staff hardest, but will also include several bankers at the rank of Managing Director. Reuters reported last month that Standard Chartered is set to cut about a tenth of its global corporate and institutional banking headcount across all the major business centres starting with Singapore and Hong Kong, as the bank steps up an aggressive drive to cut costs.
Resident companies in Switzerland have invested CHF 100 billion abroad in 2015, as informs the National Bank in a statement, specifying that Swiss direct investments abroad are higher than the average of the last ten years. About 54 billion francs compared to 3 billion in 2014, they were carried out by financial companies and holding companies. According to SNB, these sectors have seen major fluctuations in placements, often due to the restructuring plan.
Intesa Sanpaolo, Italy’s biggest retail bank, will pay $235 million to New York’s financial regulator for anti-money laundering failures and violations of bank secrecy laws. The big Italian bank failed to flag questionable transactions and deviated from policies designed to root out wrongdoing, which "seriously (compromised) the security of the international financial system," said Maria Vullo, superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services.
The 47th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum will focus on five critical leadership challenges in 2017: strengthening global collaboration, restoring a sense of shared identity, revitalizing economic growth, reforming capitalism and preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The WEF will take place on 17-20 January 2017 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, under the theme Responsive and Responsible Leadership. More than 2,500 participants from nearly 100 countries will meet and participate in over 300 sessions. The theme of the meeting calls on global leaders to renew the systems that have supported international cooperation in the past by adapting them to today’s complex, multipolar world in ways that foster genuinely inclusive and equitable growth.
Novartis announced an agreement for the acquisition of Ziarco Group Limited, a privately held company focused on the development of novel treatments in dermatology. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition adds UK-based Ziarco's once-daily oral H4 receptor antagonist, ZPL389, that is being developed for the chronic, itchy inflammatory skin condition to Novartis's existing portfolio of approved and investigational dermatological drugs.
Monte dei Paschi di Siena has until next Thursday to raise private capital. The government, which has already scheduled a meeting for Thursday December 22, could be able to open a public parachute before holiday break. Yesterday, as Consob was preparing to clear the prospectus of the recapitalization and the bond-to-equity swap (the ok came around midnight), the board of the bank approved the €5 billion capital increase.
Twenty-First Century Fox has formally reached an agreement with Sky for a total takeover to the tune of $14.8 billion. Under the terms of the acquisition, Sky shareholders will be entitled to receive £10.75 in cash per share, which represents a pretty healthy premium of 40 percent above December 6, 2016’s closing price. Twenty-First Century Fox already owns just over 39% of Sky. The price reflects a valuation of £10.75 per share, according to Reuters, who, along with the BBC, claimed that some investors were unhappy with the valuation but did not go into specifics. Reuters reported that the offer represented a 40% premium on the share price from the day before Fox’s initial proposal was received.
The Swiss National Bank is ready to intervene in the currency markets again as it continues to battle the "significantly overvalued" Swiss franc, the central bank said Thursday after it kept its key policy rate unchanged in deeply negative territory. The SNB's maintained its deposit rate at -0.75%, as expected by economists. It also maintained its three-month Libor target at -1.25% to -0.25%. "The negative interest rate and the SNB's willingness to intervene in the foreign exchange market are intended to make Swiss franc investments less attractive, thereby easing pressure on the currency," the SNB said in a statement.
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