On Wednesday OECD released the global economic outlook in Paris. According to its forecasts over Switzerland, GDP growth is projected to rise gradually, which will reduce unemployment. The low interest rate environment is set to continue, helping to revive domestic demand. Deflation seems to have been overcome, but inflation is projected to remain low through 2018. The large current account surplus will persist.
The value of sustainable investments held by Swiss asset owners almost doubled in the past year, according to a survey by Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen (FNG), the association for sustainable investments in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, which reported that sustainable investments grew to CHF104bn (€95.8bn) as of year-end 2016, compared to CHF55bn a year earlier.
Switzerland is supporting free trade and globalization as the means to make the Swiss economy more prosperous and intends to extend the number of such agreements in the near future, Joerg Gasser, Switzerland's State Secretary for International Financial Matters at the Federal Department of Finance (FDF), told media on Friday on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).
Spain's Banco Santander said Wednesday it will take over struggling Banco Popular Espanol for the symbolic price of 1 euro, creating the country's largest bank by lending and deposits, according to a press statement. "This means that Banco Popular will operate under normal business conditions as a solvent and liquid member of the Santander Group with immediate effect," the board said.
Apple unveiled a host of new products, updates and software features at its annual Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC) on Monday, and one of them could potentially save lives. The upcoming iOS will include a feature called 'Do Not Disturb While Driving" that will make it easier to avoid texting while driving. By all indications, it's rather simple tool from a technological standpoint — but if it works as advertised, iPhone's 'Do Not Disturb' feature could prevent car accidents and traffic fatalities, which is more than enough to make it a worthwhile update.
Wealthy people are dodging even more tax than previously thought, according to new research. Economist Gabriel Zucman and his co-authors Annette Alstadsaeter and Niels Johannesen, from the University of Copenhagen and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, matched the identities in both caches to tax records in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Their goal was “to correct global inequality statistics, so as to better capture the very rich.”
After several years of snatching the prize from each other, Google has managed to fight off Apple to defend its position as the world’s most valuable brand in Kantar Millward Brown’s 2017 BrandZ ranking. The internet giant has extended its lead after achieving a 7% increase to $246bn, compared to Apple’s 3% rise to $235bn, meaning there is now a 4.4% value difference between to two global leaders. Last year it was far closer at 0.3%. Microsoft (third) and Facebook (fifth) have also managed to retain their positions in the top five, with the former increasing brand value by 18% to $143bn and Facebook seeing a 27% boost to create a brand value of $130bn. The annual BrandZ ranking, which is compiled by WPP consultancy Kantar Millward Brown, is based on a combination of millions of consumer interviews and each company’s financial performance.
In its latest effort to compete with online giant Amazon, Wal-Mart is testing a delivery service using its own store employees, who will deliver packages ordered online while driving home from their regular work shifts. The “associate delivery” program would use Wal-Mart's 4,700 U.S. stores and roughly 1.2 million employees to speed delivery and cut costs, the company said Thursday. The announcement came just a day before the company's annual meeting.
Invesco released its fifth Invesco Global Sovereign Asset Management Study on 5th June, an annual in-depth report on the complex investment behaviour of global sovereign wealth funds and central banks. This year's study shows that geopolitical uncertainty and limited options to increase risk asset allocations are causing sovereign investors to make fewer allocation changes than at any point in the past five years, despite target-return gaps increasingly widening. The survey, conducted face-to-face among 97 individual sovereigns and central bank reserve managers across the globe, including Canada, representing $12 trillion of assets, asked sovereigns to rate the importance of various economic and geopolitical factors on their investment strategies.
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