Orange Suisse goes to French investor

Swisscom shares drop post-sale ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – Swisscom shares dropped Thursday on news of the sale of Orange Suisse to French investor and multi-millionaire Xavier Niel. His holding company, NJJ capital, is reported by news agency AFP to have paid British owner of Orange Suisse Apax €2.3 billion for the telecoms operator. Apax bought it […]

Negative interest! Swiss central bank goes sub-zero

Chilly interest rates from the SNB in Zurich/Bern

Winter arrives and the SNB chills out would-be franc investors ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss National Bank has lowered the interest rate it offers some account holders to -.25%, effective 22 January 2015. “Over the past few days a number of factors have prompted increased demand for safe investments. The introduction of negative interest rates […]

French court confirms €1.1 b UBS bail

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland’s largest bank, UBS, was told it will have to pay a record euros 1.1 billion bail, or deposit, in a case brought by the French government. The bank is accused of fiscal fraud. The cours de cassation, France’s highest court, said the deposit can go ahead, according to news agency ats. […]

Google, Swiss rail boost Zurich’s Europpallee

Crowds for after-hours drinks and dinner are likely to swell as Google moves into Europaallee in Zurich

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – The trendy shops and eateries near Zurich’s main train station, in the Europaallee district, will soon get a boost from a new batch of Google employees. The SBB/CFF rail company and Google have signed a contract, with the tech company leasing all remaining office and services space in the district. The move […]

Touché! Add this to your Swiss clichés!

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland comes in third, after Ireland and Finland, as the country that does the world the most good. For editors and bloggers who can’t get beyond the clichés of cheese and chocolate, secret bank accounts and tax dodgers, the Good Country Index offers a chance to take a fresh look at the […]

Money-laundering bill includes Fifa, sports groups

BERN, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss parliament Friday passed a money-laundering bill that will throw a wider net in efforts to stamp out corruption. Among those now listed as “exposed persons” and subject to closer watching will be sports’ groups officials, including Fifa. The international football federation has been the target of corruption accusations at home […]

JPEG on the beautiful future of images

Touradj Ebrahimi, EPFL professor and president of JPEG (photo, ©2014 Alain Herzog/EFPL)

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – Touradj Ebrahimi, professor at EPFL in Lausanne, has just been named president of JPEG – that’s right, it’s an organization, not just a photo format. Photographers and designers are so familiar with JPEG (aka JPG), the world’s most popular image format, that we’re likely to forget there is an organization – and […]

Falciani charged by Swiss attorney general

Ex-HSBC employee who stole bank records sparked Swiss-French feud BERN, SWITZERLAND – Hervé Falciani, former HSBC Geneva employee who sparked an international tax row, has been charged with theft by the Swiss Attorney General’s office, it revealed Thursday 11 December. The press release details what Falciani calls whistleblowing, with no intention of gain – but […]

WikiLeaks’ bank-buster Elmer taken to hospital

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – Rudolf Elmer is back in the news, but not for his trial for breaking Swiss banking secrecy laws, slated to begin today in Zurich. Elmer collapsed from unknown causes as he headed towards the courtroom, and he was taken to the hospital. It is not yet clear if the trial of the […]

Chasselas: a great 2013 vintage, but a disastrous year

Chasselas grapes nearly ripe2_300914

Republished from LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – The weather catastrophes in 2013 left a strong mark on canton Vaud’s vineyards, and now we have the statistics from the canton to prove it. Only 21 million litres of wine were made, a 28 percent drop compared to the average for the previous 10 years, and the lowest […]