Some gov’t funds rare exemptions from negative interest

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – The central administration in Bern, the AI disability funds and AVS old age funds are virtually the only exemptions from the SNB’s policy to charge negative interest rates. The Swiss central bank has completed its review of who will be exempt – those clients who will not have to pay the SNB […]

Swiss wine consumption down – again

Swiss wines grapes, by colour and type, 2014 (source: OFAG)

Swiss reds suffer surprising fall (Also published on Ellen’s Wine World) BERN, SWITZERLAND – Wine consumption in Switzerland dropped again in 2014, by 2.2 percent, confirming a 10-year trend despite a slight rise, 2 percent in 2013. The amount of Swiss wine consumed fell by 8.1 percent, a worrisome sign for the country’s wineries. Pressure […]

Horses really do fly

Double Olympic champion and Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage title holder Valegro, who competes for Great Britain in partnership with Charlotte Dujardin, and his groom Alan Davies smile before boarding their flight to Las Vegas, USA (FEI/Dirk Caremans)

Ed. note: I rarely publish press releases in full, but this is such an unusual and interesting feature story that I’m bringing it to you untouched, for your Sunday morning reading. The FEI, world equestrian federation, is based in Lausanne. FEI PRESS RELEASE Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam (NED), 11 April 2015 “We Give Horses Wings” – […]

80% Swiss donations go to their causes

zewo seal

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The charity oversight group Zewo says that one in five francs collected by its charities are used to collect money and for administrative purposes: 13 percent for administration, 8 percent for fund-raising. The charities approved to use its label do not “store” the funds they collect, although most have capital comparable to […]

Ikea sets standard for corporate aid to refugees

Ikea Geneva

Foundation’s 2015 campaign raises €10.8 million in  for UNHCR GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – UNHCR, the Geneva-based UN refugee organization, said Friday that the Ikea Foundation raised €10.8 million in two months with its “Brighter lives for refugees” campaign. The Swedish store group’s foundation last year raised €7.7 million with its campaign; it has contributed €125 million […]

Swiss departures airfare price wars heat up (correction)


GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Travelers in Switzerland are seeing a flurry of airfare offers from major airlines that reflect growing competition in the market. Swiss today is advertising long-haul flights – Beijing, Shanghai, São Paulo, J-burg – for under CHF500, while Air France is offering Japan for CHF599 and KLM is selling tickets to Los Angeles […]

HSBC’s turn for €1 billion bail

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – HSBC, like Swiss bank UBS, is protesting loudly at the €1 billion cautionary bond placed on it by the French government as it investigates the alleged role of the bank in helping its clients defraud tax authorities. HSBC Holdings in London announced the bail, set in connection with the “Swiss Leaks” media […]

Tracking the Swiss franc, euro, dollar

The meaning of the Swiss National Day - Photo Ellen Wallace

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – There is no doubt about it, removing the euro cap in January has, to date, resulted in a stronger Swiss franc against the euro and the pound. The Swiss National Bank’s currency exchange rate data for the first quarter of 2015 was released Thursday. The franc rose from euros 1.23 in January […]

Apple can’t sell its watch in Switzerland

Media report shows TM protected since 1985 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – A Geneva-based company, Leonard Timepieces, registered the name Apple and a trademark design showing an apple, for the category “watches” in Switzerland, back in 1985. The trademark expires only in December 2015, reports Business Montres & Joaillerie today, citing the federal intellectual property office. The […]

100+ mid-20th c. pollutants found in Visp canal

flooding Rhone vines Visp_300714

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Measurements taken recently by two groups confirm that the canal of the Rhone river in Visp, canton Valais, was chemically polluted by local employer Lonza, from 1930 to 1976. Researchers found the presence of more than 100 chemicals, with mercury heading the list, in the water. The researchers were from WWF Switzerland […]