News

12.05.2017

Most profitable companies in Europe: Switzerland, above all

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.

 
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12.05.2017

MUSIC TECH STARTUPS: with Antescofo users can play at home with a whole orchestra

 
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12.05.2017

US, China open new Era signing trade agreement

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.

 
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12.05.2017

SNB: negative interest rates is the necessary policy

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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12.05.2017

Richemont sales dropped, China partially saved the situation

Richemont reported worse-than-expected results shortly before Friday's open as the Geneva-based company said a volatile trading environment had caused its net profits to slip more than anticipated. However, the world's second-largest luxury goods group noted an uptick in sales growth towards the end of its fiscal year, in large part attributable to easier comparisons and support from a sustainable recovery in mainland China, Reuters reported. Sales at Richemont fell 4 percent at constant exchange rates in the year to March, missing expectations in a Reuters poll of analysts, but with a clear improvement in the second half thanks to a recovery in the United States and strong growth in China.

 
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11.05.2017

Book Review: The End of Theory. Financial Crises, the Failure of Economics, and the Sweep of Human Interaction

 
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11.05.2017

Uber could face transport license questioning, EU advisor says

An advisor to Europe’s highest court has said that Uber should be regulated as a transportation company, subjecting it to local licensing regulations which could have been considered disproportionate under EU law had it been deemed an "information society service". In a opinion handed down Thursday, Maciej Szpunar, the advocate general of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), said “Indirect control such as that exercised by Uber, based on financial incentives and decentralised passenger-led ratings, with a scale effect, makes it possible to manage in a way that is just as — if not more — effective than management based on formal orders given by an employer to his employees and direct control over the carrying out of such orders.” The decision handed down today is non-binding, though ECJ rulings have historically followed the advice of the advocate general. A final ruling is expected later this year.

 
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11.05.2017

Geneva pension fund revealed to focus on financial equilibrium

At a meeting last week, CPEG, the pension fund for the Swiss canton of Geneva, has unveiled a set of structural measures to improve its funding level that could have the effect of cutting future pension benefits by up to 15%. The committee which manages the CHF12bn (€11bn) fund (employee, pensioner, and employer representatives) confirmed a plan to raise the age at which members can take a full pension from 64 to 65 as of 1 January 2018.   In the same occasion, it released the decision to lower the target pension level. The pension fund said this measure would be accompanied by other technical measures of less importance, but the cumulative effect could be a lowering of pension benefits by up to 15% for active members.

 
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11.05.2017

Draghi: Italexit ? It's only a fantasy tale

The idea of Italy leaving the eurozone, or 'Italexit', "does not have the slightest basis" in fact, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said Wednesday in a verbal tussle with a Dutch MP. Draghi repeated that the euro is "irrevocable, and that's what the Treaty says". Confronted with the possibility of the Netherlands quitting Europe’s monetary union by Eurosceptic MP Thierry Baudet, an angry Mr Draghi said: “The euro is irrevocable. This is the treaty. I will not speculate on something that has no basis.” Highlighting the ECB’s role in the eurozone’s economic recovery, he said policies had helped create 4.5m jobs. “That’s the reality, the rest is speculation." In other remarks, Draghi said it was "up to the eurozone countries to prepare for the end of quantitative easing".

 
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11.05.2017

Zurich Insurance Q1 profits below forecasts

Zurich Insurance Group referred its profit fell from a year earlier in the first quarter, but added that an improved economic outlook could help the company's prospects for the rest of the year. The Swiss insurer said net income fell to $607 million in the first quarter from $875 million a year earlier. A more than 3 percent change to Britain's Ogden rate, a tool for calculating personal injury and accident claims, dampened Zurich's core property and casualty business in the first three months of 2017.

 
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