Swiss media headlines: floating platform, Agefi boss, US in hot seat

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Top stories in Swiss news media Thursday: Economic slowdown in France, Germany worries Swiss France’s zero economic growth and a dip of 0.2 percent in Germany is worrying the Swiss, whose biggest trading partner is Germany. Le Temps carries a lengthy analysis of the current situation. From financial to fiscal news News […]

Raiffeisen joins “big banks”

The famously red Raffeisenplatz, home to the bank's head office, in St Gallen

Cooperative now considered a bank “of systemic importance” ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss National Bank Wednesday officially declared the Raiffeisen group to be a bank “of systemic importance” 13 August: too big to fail. It joins the country’s two largest banks, Credit Suisse and UBS, and Zürcher Kantonalbank, which in November 2013 was also named […]

Swisscom now owns local.ch

From paper phone directories to contemporary "how to find"

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – Swisscom now owns more 90.59 percent of PubliGroupe Ltd, with the deadline expiring for the public tender offer. Close to 72 percent of the shares involved in the bid were tendered. The two companies together created Local.ch, the digital Swiss directory service, and the takeover is designed to allow Swisscom to develop […]

Swiss online sales jump 3.4%

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The World Cup provided a boost to Swiss online sales in the first half of 2014, with a total of CHF3.11 billion in merchandise by correspondence and online companies that make up 60 percent of the market. The figures were released by the Swiss correspondence sales organization ASVAD. The figures don’t include […]

Business news: Half-year reports, shares disclosure, US citizens

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ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – Half-year results coming in from major Swiss-based firms 7 August: Nestlé net profits down, from CHF5.1 billion in 2013 to CHF4.6b this year. Turnover fell 4.8 percent to CHF43 billion. The weaker performance cast a shadow over the Swiss stock market Thursday morning 7 August. Zurich insurance group, profits up 14 percent […]

Swiss central bank’s profits up sharply

The meaning of the Swiss National Day - Photo Ellen Wallace

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss National Bank posted profits of CHF16.1 billion for the first six months of 2014. Of this, CHF12.6b was due to currency exchanges, while gains in gold valuations accounted for CHF3.5b. Gold was trading for CHF34.2 per kilogram at the end of 2013 and at June 2014 the price was CHF37.6/kg. […]

Consumer confidence stronger in June

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – Consumer confidence rose strongly in June, from 1.80 in May to 2.06, the latest figures from bank UBS show. The figures, release 30 June, show that consumption rose during the second quarter of 2014. Retail figures for the first half of the year show the highest level of spending since 2009, a […]

Swiss environmental impact abroad rising

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BERN, SWITZERLAND – The good news is that Swiss consumers have significantly reduced their environmental impact in recent years. The bad news is that it’s being exported to others countries. A study by the federal government, released 29 July, shows that between 1996 and 2011 the environmental impact of Swiss consumers on the environment outside […]

UBS posts profit, but French legal case open

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland’s largest bank, UBS, 29 July reported second quarter profits of CHF792 million, up 15 percent over the same period in 2013. the bank settled its outstanding case and fines with Germany, but now faces new demands from France, with a CHF1.1 billion guarantee due by August, an amount the bank this […]

Vernier border guards complex architect named

Architect's model of new border guards housing complex in Vernier, Geneva

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Vernier will soon have a major new complex for border guards, part of a larger regional plan to provide service housing for them in zones that are deemed critical. The Swiss government Monday 28 July named Lucerne architect Andreas Heierle and landscape specialist Weber + Brönnimann in Bern the winners of a competition […]