If you want to go to Valais for shopping, now you can pay your purchases in farinets, the new ‘local currency’ of the canton. The currency was launched on Saturday in the city of Sion; it comes in eight denominations: 1, 2, 5, 10, 13, 20, 50 and 100, and it has the same value as the Swiss franc. According to the organization, using the currency creates a spending power for the Lake Geneva region and boosts the local economy in a way that using francs and euros doesn’t always allow.
UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti considers the global banking sector has generated a degree of complexity such that it can only be managed by artificial intelligence (IA). In an interview on TeleTicino on Sunday, he underlined "we arrive at a human physical limit to manage all this complexity." The phenomenon of digitization of the banking sector, which is imperative to maintain international competitiveness, should be viewed positively, Ermotti said, because it enables customers to provide more precise and faster services while banks can optimize the costs. For Ermotti "These changes are also reflected in the elimination of certain activities,". However, he recalled that in Switzerland, one million people will retire in the next ten years, while at the same time job market will require only half million.
Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson has admitted Sweden has “major problems” as a result of the population growth brought on by mass immigration. Earlier this week, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKL) admitted, by 2020, municipalities face a funding deficit of 40 billion Swedish Krona (£3.5 billion) to finance services like hospitals and nursing homes. “Demographic trends show that, with more children and more elderly people, the need for local government services is expected to grow significantly faster than the tax base,” says Annika Wallenskog, chief economist at SKL.
The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) imposed a 3-million-euro ($3.2 million) fine on WhatsApp messaging service for allegedly forcing its users to share their personal data with its parent company Facebook, the agency said in a statement Friday. All 28 European Union data protection authorities asked Whatsapp last year to stop sharing users' data with Facebook due to doubts over the validity of users' consent. The Italian agency said the application led users to believe they would not have been able to continue using the service unless they agreed to terms including sharing personal data. Whatsapp did not immediately respond to an email asking for comment on the fine. The amount is lower than the maximum €5 million the agency could have levied.
At the beginning of October 2016, I wrote an article about the STOXX Supersector Europe 600 Basic Resources Index, and the possibility for this Index to start an intermediate uptrend. From that period we had an increase of about 36% until late February 2017, and now we are in a retracement window that started on February 22th with a drawdown of about -13%. To better understand the performance of this Supersector it is advisable to take into consideration the historical graph prices of the last twenty-seven years.
Electric car maker Tesla has added another product to its lineup: Solar roof tiles. As of Wednesday, customers worldwide could order a solar roof on Tesla's web site. Installations will begin next month in the U.S., starting with California. Musk took to Twitter to confirm the delivery and installation of the tiles. According to his tweet, the first two styles will be in 2017 in the United States, and in 2018 for overseas orders. The glass tiles were unveiled by Tesla last fall just before the company merged with solar panel maker SolarCity Corp. They're designed to look like a traditional roof, with options that replicate slate or terracotta tiles. The solar tiles contain photovoltaic cells that are invisible from the street.
Swiss companies are at the top of the list of the most profitable companies in Europe: Roche and Nestlé are in the Top 10, ranked first and third respectively, according to the EC consulting firm. In the top 100 companies worldwide, there are eight Swiss groups: in addition to Roche - with an Ebit of €12.9 billion recorded in 2016 - and Nestlé we can find Novartis (12th place), ABB (69th), LafargeHolcim ( 72th), Richemont (88th), Swisscom (96th), and Syngenta (98th). Between american companies, Apple has achieved operating profit of $ 60 billion last year, as equal as the five most profitable European companies. According to the study, which considered the 600 (300 + 300) largest groups listed in Europe and the United States, 30% of American companies are on average more profitable than those of the Old Continent. Their operating margins last year were 12.7% (11.9% in 2015) compared with 9.8% (9.6% in 2015) for European companies.
The US and China have reached a 10-point trade deal that opens the Chinese market to US credit rating agencies and credit card companies. Under the deal, China will also lift its ban on US beef imports; in return, Chinese cooked chicken will be allowed into the US market and Chinese banks can enter the US market. And there were numerous other parts of the preliminary agreement. This included language that appears to pave the way for U.S. firms to export liquid natural gas to China, the expediting of Chinese safety reviews for U.S. biotechnology applications, and cooperation between Chinese and U.S. regulators over financial transactions.The deals are the first tangible results of trade talks that began in April after US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in Florida.
The Swiss National Bank's (SNB) policy of negative interest rates is not ideal but is nevertheless necessary in order to weaken Switzerland's "significantly overvalued" currency, Chairman Thomas Jordan said on the sidelines of the Private Banking Day in Zurich on Thursday. "It's not the case that we find it great to have negative interest rates," Jordan said during conference. However, Jordan said negative interest rates, along with the central bank's willingness to intervene in the currency were absolutely necessary in order to protect exporters from a stronger Swiss franc, which is a safe-haven currency in times of market stress. Those conditions will largely be dictated from abroad, particularly by the European Central Bank (ECB). He stressed Swiss monetary policy was a hostage to weak economic conditions in some EU states, which prompted the ECB to print trillions of euros and move euro interest rates into negative territory.
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