Wednesday , January 20 2021
Home / Investec
Investec

Investec

Investec is a distinctive Specialist Bank and Asset Manager. We provide a diverse range of financial products and services to our niche client base.

Articles by Investec

Covid: 17,245 cases and 387 deaths reported in Switzerland this week

2 days ago

This week, Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) reported 17,245 positive Covid-19 cases and 387 deaths.
Over the seven days to 15 January 2021, the number daily cases reported in Switzerland averaged 2,464. This figure is significantly below the daily reported average leading up to Christmas. In the 7 days to 18 December 2020, the average daily number was around 4,300.
Over the last 24 hours the results of 25,092 tests were reported, with test positivity of 10%.
In addition to lower case numbers, the reproduction rate has declined. The most recently calculated rate is 0.84. This means an average infected individual infects 0.84 other people, a rate that would lead daily new infections to decline. Reproduction rates contain a lag. The most recent

Read More »

Swiss Inflation turns negative in 2020

3 days ago

During 2020, average annual inflation was –0.7%, according to Switzerland’s Federal Statistical Office (FSO).
© Dmitri Maruta | Dreamstime.com – Click to enlarge
In December 2020, Switzerland’s consumer price index (CPI) fell by 0.1% compared with November 2020. Compared to December 2019, prices in December 2020 were 0.8% lower. Annual inflation reached -0.7% across the full year.
The main drivers of a falling CPI were lower travel prices and fuel costs. The price declines on these items were more significant than rising new car prices and rents, said the FSO. So far the pandemic seems to have pushed up rents and property prices. The prices of local products remained stable, however imported items were 2.9% cheaper. This is partly down to Switzerland’s strong

Read More »

Covid: Switzerland reaches 66,000 vaccinations against the virus

4 days ago

Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) recently reported that 66,000 people in Switzerland had been vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19.
© Oxana Medvedeva | Dreamstime.com – Click to enlarge
The number was communicated by Nora Kronig of the FOPH during a press conference in Bern on Thursday 14 January 2020.
The 66,000 is likely to be lower than the actual number because of delays in the flow of information from cantonal health authorities to the federal level.
Vaccination started in most Swiss cantons on 4 January 2021, starting with especially vulnerable people.
So far Switzerland’s pharmaceutical approval authority has approved two vaccines. It approved the Pfizer/BioNTech jab on 19 December 2020 and the Moderna vaccine on

Read More »

Swiss inflation turns negative in 2020

4 days ago

During 2020, average annual inflation was –0.7%, according to Switzerland’s Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

© Dmitri Maruta | Dreamstime.comIn December 2020, Switzerland’s consumer price index (CPI) fell by 0.1% compared with November 2020. Compared to December 2019, prices in December 2020 were 0.8% lower. Annual inflation reached -0.7% across the full year.

The main drivers of a falling CPI were lower travel prices and fuel costs. The price declines on these items were more significant than rising new car prices and rents, said the FSO. So far the pandemic seems to have pushed up rents and property prices. The prices of local products remained stable, however imported items were 2.9% cheaper. This is partly down to Switzerland’s strong currency. According to the latest Economist

Read More »

Covid: tension rises between Switzerland’s scientists and politicians

5 days ago

Tension between Switzerland’s scientists and politicians is rising, according to RTS.
Bern_© Petr Pohudka _ Dreamstime.com – Click to enlarge
On Saturday, Christian Althaus, an epidemiologist working for the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force, Switzerland’s scientific Covid advisory team, announced his resignation and voiced his frustration on Twitter.
“One of the reasons why I left the scientific task force this week. Politicians must finally learn to face science on an equal footing”, Althaus tweeted, referring to an article in the Aargauer Zeitung about how some government ministers are annoyed by Task Force findings and advice being communicated to the public.
Earlier in the week Althaus’s frustration was apparent when he tweeted: “Ticino has had 825

Read More »

Long Covid symptoms persist beyond 7 months, according to new data

5 days ago

Recent research based on information from 3,762 Long Covid sufferers shows most still have symptoms after 7 months.
© Tero Vesalainen | Dreamstime.com – Click to enlarge
The study uses patient-driven research and is based on a survey created by a team of patients with COVID-19 who are members of the Body Politic online COVID-19 support group. The group conducted its first survey in April 2020 and issued a subsequent report in May 2020. Participants were not randomly selected. They are people suffering Long Covid that volunteered to take part. The study is therefore focused on the nature and persistence of Long Covid symptoms rather than on the percentage of Covid-19 patients suffering from Long Covid.
The global survey was open to individuals 18 years of age and

Read More »

Covid: Switzerland grants approval for second vaccine

7 days ago

© Pattanaphong Khuankaew | Dreamstime.com On 12 January 2021, Swissmedic, the Swiss agency for the authorisation and supervision of pharmaceutical products, approved a second vaccination against the SARS-CoV-2 virus for the Swiss market. The vaccine from Moderna, of which the federal government has ordered around 7.5 million doses, has been approved for adults from age …

Read More »

Covid: closing Swiss schools one of most effective measures, says study

9 days ago

The number of Covid cases went down significantly in Switzerland during spring as a result of schools closing, according to a study by ETH Zurich, reported RTS.
School closed ©Andrey Zhuravlev -Dreamstime.com – Click to enlarge
Researchers at the university analysed anonymised mobile phone data of 1.5 billion movements of the Swiss population between 10 February and 26 April 2020. They used this data to calculate how much certain measures reduced mobility and contact.
Their analysis revealed that closing schools in mid-March reduced mobility by 21.6%, making it one of the most effective measures for reducing human contact and the chance of spread. Closing schools was just behind closing restaurants, bars and shops (-22.3%) and banning gatherings of more than 5

Read More »

Company bankruptcies fell sharply in Switzerland in 2020

11 days ago

© Sylvain Robin | Dreamstime.com Despite the economic impacts of the coronavirus, significantly fewer Swiss companies went bankrupt in 2020 than the year before, according to the business data company Bisnode. During 2020, 3,811 Swiss companies filed for bankruptcy, 19% fewer than in 2019. Sectors that experienced the greatest fall in bankruptcies include artisans (-174 …

Read More »

Swiss unemployment up steeply in 2020

11 days ago

Today, figures on Swiss unemployment at the end of 2020 were published.

© Tero Vesalainen | Dreamstime.comAt the end of December 2020, there were 163,545 people registered as unemployed in Switzerland, a figure 39.5% higher than at the end of 2019.

At 31 December 2020, the number of job seekers was 260,318, a number 34.9% above the same figure at the end of 2019. The last time the number of job seekers was close to this high in Switzerland was at the end of February 1997, when it reached 251,377.

Switzerland’s unemployment rate at 31 December 2020, reached 3.5%. This number is based only on those officially registered as unemployed.

Massive uptake of support for those with reduced hours has significantly helped to reduce the negative consequences of the pandemic and avoid

Read More »

Swiss rents and property prices up in 2020 due to pandemic

12 days ago

© Bogdan Lazar | Dreamstime.com The pandemic had a significant impact on Swiss real estate prices in 2020, according to industry experts. Contrary to initial fears that property prices would fall, prices have risen over the period. Over the year, the offer prices of stand alone houses rose by 5.6% while apartment prices jumped by …

Read More »

Swiss rents and property prices up in 2020 due to pandemic

12 days ago

The pandemic had a significant impact on Swiss real estate prices in 2020, according to industry experts.

© Bogdan Lazar | Dreamstime.comContrary to initial fears that property prices would fall, prices have risen over the period. Over the year, the offer prices of stand alone houses rose by 5.6% while apartment prices jumped by 5.5% across Switzerland as a whole, according to the Swiss Real Estate Offer Index compiled by ImmoScout24.

2020 has shown once more that safe assets rise in importance during uncertain times, said Martin Waeber, managing director of ImmoScout24. The coronavirus pushed many to reevaluate their life situation, said Waeber. This led them to realise they want more space, and, where possible, to become home owners. This pushed up rents and home prices.

In

Read More »

Covid: fast-spreading UK strain detected in seven Swiss cantons

14 days ago

The fast spreading strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus discovered in the UK has now been detected in seven Swiss cantons, according to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), reported RTS.
So far 28 people in Switzerland have tested positive for the new UK strain, said Virginie Masserey of the FOPH. The strain has been detected in Vaud, Geneva, Valais, Bern, Zurich, St-Gallen and another canton. Some of those infected had travelled from the UK or been in contact with someone who had. While others fell into neither of these categories, said Masserey.
The presence and spread of the new strain is a reason for increasing efforts to reduce the number of cases. Masserey asked those who have travelled to the UK or South Africa to report this if they are tested so that DNA

Read More »

Company bankruptcies fell sharply in Switzerland in 2020

14 days ago

Despite the economic impacts of the coronavirus, significantly fewer Swiss companies went bankrupt in 2020 than the year before, according to the business data company Bisnode.

© Sylvain Robin | Dreamstime.comDuring 2020, 3,811 Swiss companies filed for bankruptcy, 19% fewer than in 2019. Sectors that experienced the greatest fall in bankruptcies include artisans (-174 bankruptcies), hotels and restaurants (-124), retailers (-68) and wholesalers (-66).

The slowdown in company failures occurred fairly evenly across Switzerland. Rates were lower in the Mittelland (-25%), western Switzerland (-22%), eastern Switzerland (-22%), Ticino (-23%) and Zurich (-18%).

In addition, the number of new companies created rose in 2020. 46,779 new companies were created in Switzerland in 2020, 5%

Read More »

Errors made managing pandemic, admits new Swiss president

15 days ago

Swiss president Guy Parmelin
According to RTS, Guy Parmelin, Switzerland’s president since 1 January 2021, told the newspaper SonntagsBlick, that between July and September the government underestimated the pandemic.
“We thought we could contain the virus but in reality we were far from doing so”, he said. Not only politicians but also many specialists were surprised by the sudden and rapid rise of Covid-19 cases.
In addition, the president said that coordination between cantons and the federal government wasn’t alway optimal. It wasn’t and still isn’t easy, he said.
Every day the health crisis brings something new, said Parmelin. No one, not even the scientific community can tell politicians what measures will work in three or four weeks, he said, referring to

Read More »

Covid: 9,665 new cases over 4 days in Switzerland

15 days ago

Over the 4 days to 4 January 2020, Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) reported  9,665 new cases and 189 deaths bringing Switzerland’s Covid-19 death toll to 7,831 (confirmed 7,271).
On 4 January 2021, Switzerland’s 14-day infection rate was 540 per 100,000. Over the last 4 days, 63,665 tests were conducted with test positivity of 15%. The number of tests conducted over the last 4 days is less than half the number conducted over the prior 4 days.
Pressure on Switzerland’s intensive care units has eased slightly. Currently, 73.1% of ICU beds across Switzerland are occupied, according to FOPH. In some places, such as Geneva, more than half (55%) of ICU beds are free. In others, such as Zurich, ICUs are running closer to full capacity (76%). In Vaud

Read More »

Pandemic dents financial optimism for 2021 in Switzerland

18 days ago

18% of Swiss adults are convinced their financial situation will worsen in 2021, according to a survey.

© Photosbypanda | Dreamstime.comThis percentage is markedly higher than at the end of 2019 when the same figure was 13%.

The rise in pessimism is largely linked to job insecurity. 68% are concerned they will face full or partial unemployment, while the self-employed worry they will get less business. In addition, 46% fear continued rises in health insurance premiums.

More generally, 83% are concerned about the impact of the pandemic on their economic situation, a figure which has risen from 76% since May. This figure is higher in French-speaking Switzerland (92%) and lower in German- (81%) and Italian-speaking Switzerland (78%).

A shift was seen in consumer attitudes

Read More »

Swiss petrol and diesel tax to rise on 1 January 2021

20 days ago

On 1 January 2021, Swiss pump prices are set to rise by 3.7 cents per litre.

© Frischschoggi | Dreamstime.comFrom 1 January 2021, the total taxes on a litre of petrol and diesel in Switzerland will be 77 and 80 cents respectively. At a price of CHF 1.50 litre, taxes will make up over half the price of a litre of fuel in Switzerland.

The 3.7 cent tax hike, which is set to run until 2028, was adopted by the Federal Council on 1 July 2020. The increase aims to allow the government to extend lighter taxing of gas and biofuels until 2023 without losing any revenue.

In the future, the 3.7 cent increase could rise to 12 cents. In 2019, Switzerland’s parliament adopted the CO2 Act, which includes a 12 cent rise in tax on petrol and diesel. However, a referendum attacking the the CO2

Read More »

Covid: negative test to enter France from Switzerland only required if resident in France

20 days ago

On 19 December 2020, the French government advised against French residents travelling to Switzerland to ski and introduced rules that made returning difficult, including a requirement to show a negative Covid-19 test less than 72 hours old or to quarantine on arrival.

© Anne Laure Affre | Dreamstime.comThe rule covered all those entering France from the cantons of Graubünden, Jura, Neuchâtel, Uri, Valais and Vaud.

However, it was not initially clear who was affected by the rules.

The French consulat in Geneva has since clarified that the rule only applies to French residents returning to France from these Swiss cantons. Residents of Switzerland are therefore not included and can enter France without a negative Covid test.

More on this:Consulat

Read More »

Covid: UK tourists break Covid quarantine in Verbier

21 days ago

Shortly after the UK announced it was struggling to contain a new faster spreading strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the Swiss government announced a backdated 10-day quarantine requirement for UK arrivals. This affected hundreds of UK tourists already in the winter resort of Verbier.

Verbier, SwitzerlandAround 400 UK tourists, who had arrived after the retrospective 14 December 2020 quarantine cut off date, were staying the Swiss resort.

Hotels and chalets were contacted, and with the help of flight records, UK travellers were located and notified of the 10-day quarantine requirement.

However, many of the UK visitors broke quarantine and quietly left without checking out, contacting hotels later by telephone from outside the country, according to various

Read More »

Christmas traffic down 84% at Geneva airport

22 days ago

Normally Geneva airport is overrun with passengers during the Christmas period. This year there were 84% fewer passengers than last year, according to RTS.

© Hai Huy Ton That | Dreamstime.comBetween 23 and 27 December 2020, there were around 47,000 passengers, down from the 300,000 that passed through the airport during the same period in 2019.

The largest number of passengers typically depart for Portugal, followed by France, Spain, Italy, the UAE and the Netherlands. The flow in the opposite direction is similar.

Passenger numbers were down significantly at Zurich airport too. For the period from 17 to 26 December 2020, passenger numbers there were down 80% compared to the year before.

On 10 December 2020, Geneva airport announced that it expects to make a loss of CHF 130

Read More »

Covid: restaurants and cafés to close across French-speaking Switzerland

28 days ago

© Pressmaster | Dreamstime.com Restaurants and cafés will progressively close once more across French-speaking Switzerland starting in the canton of Jura on Tuesday 22 December 2020. On 18 December 2020, Switzerland’s Federal Council decided to close restaurants, bars, cultural venues and sports and leisure facilities from 22 December 2020. However, exceptions were allowed in cantons …

Read More »

Covid: Switzerland suspends flights from the UK and South Africa

December 20, 2020

© Banol2007 | Dreamstime.com Late on 20 December 2020, the Swiss government decided to suspend flights to Switzerland from the UK and South Africa following news of the discovery a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus. The decision by the Swiss government follows similar decisions by Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Belgium and the Netherland. Air, road, …

Read More »

The US accuses Switzerland of currency manipulation

December 18, 2020

This week, the US Treasury reviewed and assessed the currency policies of 20 major U.S. trading partners during the four quarters ending June 2020.

© Marekusz | Dreamstime.comThe report concluded that both Vietnam and Switzerland met all three criteria for currency manipulation under the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015.

The three tests include a significant bilateral trade surplus with the United States, a material current account surplus of at least 2% of GDP over a 12-month period, and persistent one-sided currency intervention involving repeated net purchases of foreign currency.

It is no secret that the Swiss National Bank (SNB) has been actively trying to weaken the Swiss franc.

The US Treasury report said that the Swiss franc has long been

Read More »

Covid, December 18: 22 percent of Geneva tests positive for antibodies

December 17, 2020

An update to an antibody study conducted by HUG and UNIGE suggests that 22% of Geneva’s population had been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus by December 2020.
The study which began earlier in the year, and involved 2,072 people, suggests the number of people infected has doubled since June 2020 when 11% of the study sample tested positive for antibodies.

© Tero Vesalainen | Dreamstime.com
The latest results suggest the official number of cases significantly underestimates the actual number. 22% of Geneva’s population is around 110,000, a figure 2.9 times higher than the roughly 38,000 official recorded cases.
Among those 65-74 the percentage testing positive was 14% and among those over 75 it was 10%. These rates are significantly lower than among 18-25 years

Read More »

Large government budget deficit in 2021 for Switzerland

December 17, 2020

© Denis Linine | Dreamstime.com On 16 December 2020, Switzerland’s Council of States, the nation’s upper house, accepted a 2021 budget deeply in the red following its acceptance last week by the National Council. In 2021, Switzerland’s federal government plans to collect CHF 75.8 billion while spending CHF 81.9 billion, plunging the budget CHF 6.1 …

Read More »

Covid: Swiss becoming more skeptical of vaccines

December 17, 2020

© Leigh Prather | Dreamstime.com Mistrust of vaccines against Covid-19 continues to rise in Switzerland, according to a recently published survey. A survey run in Switzerland at the end of October 2020, found that only 49% were prepared to take a Covid-19 vaccine, a percentage significantly lower than the 62% recorded in a similar survey …

Read More »

Large government budget deficit in 2021 for Switzerland

December 16, 2020

On 16 December 2020, Switzerland’s Council of States, the nation’s upper house, accepted a 2021 budget deeply in the red following its acceptance last week by the National Council.

© Denis Linine | Dreamstime.comIn 2021, Switzerland’s federal government plans to collect CHF 75.8 billion while spending CHF 81.9 billion, plunging the budget CHF 6.1 billion into the red.

The pandemic has significantly increased spending. Spending in 2021 is expected to be 8.8% higher than in 2020 and the minister of finance does not expect the federal books to be balanced until 2024.

Government Covid loans now total CHF 6.6 billion. Restaurants, tourism and event operators have received CHF 1.9 billion of this total.

Back in 2019 when Switzerland’s finances were healthy the nation closed the

Read More »

Covid, December 16: declaring extraordinary situation pointless right now, says Swiss minister

December 15, 2020

Speaking to broadcaster RTS, Swiss health minister Alain Berset said the pandemic was under control and that it currently made no sense to declare an extraordinary situation, a provision in Swiss law on managing infectious diseases that allows the Federal Council to take charge of the situation over and above cantonal governments.
Declaring an extraordinary situation would be pointless right now, said Berset. We currently have all the tools we need to act and we must work with the cantons. We’ve shown we can do it. French-speaking cantons made a big effort in November and the situation is currently under control, said the minister.
Last week Switzerland’s university hospitals called on the Federal Council to do more to avoid hospital overload. In a letter,

Read More »