Basel firm to become world’s largest duty free retailer (update)


BASEL, SWITZERLAND – Basel-based Dufry is slated to become the world’s largest duty-free retailer, travel business media are reporting. The Swiss company will hold a press conference this afternoon about its announced takeover of Italian firm World Duty Free. It is reportedly buying the 50.1 percent stake the Benetton family has in WDF, for €1.3 billion […]

S Italian bees threaten Swiss ones


BERN, SWITZERLAND – Swiss honey bees are under threat from a small beehive beetle that feeds on their larvae and honey, which is making its way north. The Swiss government Wednesday declared battle with the beetle, issuing a series of guidelines that make it illegal to import used material, hives or honey for hives from […]

Payot changes Geneva’s bookscape


City-centre store with 4 floors, café, large English section GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / EDITOR’S NOTEPAD – Geneva has just been endowed with its own version of a mega bookstore, with the grand opening this weekend of the new Payot in the city centre. The bookstore closed two shops, at Chantepoulet and rue du Marché, combining them […]

News roundup: banker pay, ski star, Geneva clubs, watches

Skier Dominique Gisin, tennis player Roger Federer: 2014 Swiss Sports Awards top athletes

Geneva’s bars, clubs, cafés get later hours GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Let the party roll! Geneva’s politicians have decided to let the city dance and party until the wee hours on weekends and pre-holiday nights. The new hours, from 15:00-08:00, are designed to reduce the problem of noise in the street when clubs close earlier, in […]

Swiss-European tax info swap in 2018


GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The European Union and Switzerland initialed an agreement 19 March that will put information swaps for tax purposes into effect by 2018. The actual data exchange will begin in 2017. In a statement Bern notes: “The agreement on the automatic exchange of information (AEOI) in tax matters will replace the taxation of […]

Bern lowers GDP forecast slightly

Hybridlok Eem 923

Swiss economy to dip to 0.9, then 1.8% growth BERN, SWITZERLAND – The federal government’s Expert Group, in its quarterly economic forecast, said 19 March that it expects the Swiss economy to dip, but only slightly, to 0.9% growth this year and 1.8% in 2016. The impact of the end to the cap on the […]

Zurich airport growth: 25 millionth passenger


ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – Zurich Airport welcomed its 25 millionth passenger in December, the company said 17 March, in announcing a 2014 profit of CHF205.9 million on sales of CHF963.5m. Profits were up 1.3% over the previous year. Passenger traffic continued to climb, with the airport handling 25.47 million passengers last year; the figure was 22.88m […]

Out of the tax haven hole: OECD commends Swiss progress

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland has just received concrete evidence that other countries believe it is making clear progress in sharing information on tax cheats. It has moved up to phase 2 of the peer review process of the OECD’s Global Forum, Jacques de Watteville, head of the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters (SIF), said […]

Swiss business news roundup: watches, banks


GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – All the world, or at least the digital world, has eyes on Apple and its new watch, but in western Switzerland, the world watchmaking capital, eyes were on Swatch. The company published its 2014 figures 12 March, Thursday, showing gross sales up 4.6% to CHF9.21 billion – with operating profit up 20% […]

Swiss research students hit by US banking woes

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / EDITOR’S NOTEPAD – RTS public media carries a story that Americans in Switzerland will appreciate, about the banking woes of Swiss researchers with study grants in the US: both are caught in the trap of US-Swiss political and banking relations, often unable to keep Swiss bank accounts. The Swiss National Science Foundation […]