Thursday , April 9 2020
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

Coronavirus: Swiss tourism expected to lose 6.4 billion francs

7 days ago

© Erfphotog | Dreamstime.com Tourism is one of the sectors hardest hit by the coronavirus and the response to it. Figures from a study by HES-SO Valais published by the newspaper Blick suggest the industry will see revenues in Switzerland drop 18%, or CHF 6.4 billion, in 2020. The hotel sector alone, which generates around CHF 10 billion …

Read More »

Coronavirus: loss of smell indicates “very high likelihood” of infection

8 days ago

© Katarzyna Bialasiewicz | Dreamstime.com While there is currently no scientifically proven link between anosmia (loss of smell) and Covid-19, more and more experts are saying the symptom is a strong indicator. Gilbert Greub, head of the microbiology department at the CHUV hospital in Lausanne, is one such expert. “Given the widespread Covid-19 epidemic, I think that everyone …

Read More »

Coronavirus: deciding who gets a ventilator

9 days ago

© Sudok1 | Dreamstime.com By 31 March 2020, there were around 326 Covid-19 patients in intensive care and 228 on ventilators in Switzerland. It is estimated that there are around 750 ventilators across the country. If the health system reaches overload, medical professionals in Switzerland might be forced to make the kinds of difficult decisions being made in …

Read More »

Coronavirus: Swiss tourism expected to lose 6.4 billion francs

9 days ago

Tourism is one of the sectors hardest hit by the coronavirus and the response to it.

© Erfphotog | Dreamstime.comFigures from a study by HES-SO Valais published by the newspaper Blick suggest the industry will see revenues in Switzerland drop 18%, or CHF 6.4 billion, in 2020.

The hotel sector alone, which generates around CHF 10 billion annually, could lose CHF 2 billion if the shutdown lasts until the end of May, according to the forecast.

The cancelation of events in Geneva, Zurich and Basel has already hit the sector hard in these cities.

Hotels and restaurants in Switzerland together generate around CHF 28 billion a year and employ around 250,000 people. Bankruptcies of companies in these two sectors could leave a lot of people without work. The report estimates that

Read More »

Coronavirus: Swiss test rate now higher than South Korea’s

12 days ago

© blurf | Dreamstime.com This morning, Switzerland’s federal government announced the number of Covid-19 tests conducted so far in Switzerland. South Korea, a nation often cited among those with high test rates, now trails Switzerland on the number per capita tests it has conducted. By 26 March 2020, South Korea had conducted 364,942 tests, a rate of 7,090 …

Read More »

Coronavirus: the fallibility of fatality rates

13 days ago

© Peter Ekvall | Dreamstime.com Naturally, many of us would like to know the fatality rate of Covid-19. But at this stage it is guesswork. Here are some of the problems with two of the most popular fatality rates. The most popular calculation involves dividing the number deaths by the number of cases. Epidemiologists call this a naive …

Read More »

Coronavirus: a test to see if you’ve had it is in the pipeline

14 days ago

© Anyaivanova | Dreamstime.com Coronavirus testing has been rationed in Switzerland, reserving it for high risk more severe cases, although doctors retain discretion to have anyone tested. It is likely those that have been infected and have recovered will have immunity and no longer be able to act as carriers of the disease. However, without an antibody test, …

Read More »

Coronavirus: infection rates in some Swiss cantons now higher than Lombardy

16 days ago

© Aquanaut4 | Dreamstime.com Lombardy, the region in northern Italy where the coronavirus outbreak first took off in Europe, now has fewer per capita cases testing positive for the virus than some Swiss cantons. Recent data from Italy show there were 179 cases per 100,000 in Lombardy. In Ticino, Switzerland’s worst affected canton, there were 329 cases per …

Read More »

Coronavirus: estimating the death toll in Switzerland

19 days ago

© Pongmoji | Dreamstime.com COVID-19 has hit the world fast and we are racing to understand it, while struggling to come to terms with its deadly impact. When trying to estimate the impact, it is tempting to take the current number of deaths and divide it by the number of reported cases. However, the resulting percentage is meaningless. …

Read More »

Coop and Migros: customers required to queue

20 days ago

Coop and Migros, Switzerland’s two largest supermarkets have decided to limit the number of people entering their stores, creating queues outside, according to RTS.

To reduce the spread of Covid-19, shopper density has been reduced to one person per 10 m2, which drastically reduces the number of people allowed inside simultaneously.

In addition, shopping in the two chains has been restricted to the food section. Other areas have been closed.

On top of the hassle of needing to queue, some stores are running out of some items. Frozen and tinned foods, flour, sugar, cleaning products and toilet paper are in high demand a representative from Migros told RTS.

Switzerland’s government says there is no reason to panic buy. The country has sufficient reserves of food and essential

Read More »

Swiss government announces further restrictions to slow spread of virus

24 days ago

At a press conference at 5pm on 16 March 2020, members of the Federal Council presented a list of further restrictions designed to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus, that will become active from midnight tonight. A video of the conference can be viewed below.
[embedded content]Alain Berset, Switzerland’s interior minister, called on the population to follow the rules. To date a significant number of people have not been following them, he said. Following these measures is critical for protecting people at risk, those over 65 and those with poor health. In addition, we all need to play the game to protect hospitals from overload. Social distancing and avoiding unnecessary contact with others is essential.
From midnight, all restaurants, bars, night clubs,

Read More »

Is Ibuprofen dangerous for those infected with the coronavirus?

24 days ago

Ibuprofen belongs to a family of drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
On 14 March 2020, Olivier Véran, France’s health minister Tweeted that taking anti-inflammatory medicine “could be an aggravating factor” for those infected with Covid-19, and recommended paracetamol for those with a fever.
Link to Twitter postLater, Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), said that observations have been made in individual cases, but this is not sufficient to prove that the medication played a causal role in the severity of the (Covid-19) illness. Verifications are ongoing. In the meantime, caution is recommended when taking Ibuprofen-based medicinal products. In addition, FOPH said it is better to use paracetamol-based medication to treat a

Read More »

Coronavirus: Swiss hospitals have around 750 breathing ventilators

25 days ago

© Ryzhov Sergey | Dreamstime.com One of the biggest challenges during the coronavirus outbreak will be ensuring there are enough qualified staff and equipment to keep the worst affected patients alive. Thierry Fumeaux, head of the Swiss Society of Intensive Medicine, told RTS there are 82 intensive care units (ICU) across Switzerland. These have a combined 850 places, …

Read More »

Coronavirus: an estimate of the real number of infections in Switzerland

26 days ago

Today, according to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), there were 815 confirmed cases in Switzerland.
There are obvious challenges to this figure. Possibly the most important is the time lag between infection and a confirmed case.

On average, there are 5.1 days between catching the virus and the onset of symptoms.
If you look at the chart above from a WHO report on COVID-19 in China, which shows new coronavirus cases from 8 December until 20 February for all of China, you’ll see there are orange and blue bars. The orange bars represent confirmed cases. The blue ones are actual cases – these are calculated by counting backwards from when the symptoms appeared, something that can only be done in retrospect.

.
On 24 January 2020, there were around 1,000

Read More »

Coronavirus: youngest death so far brings Swiss death toll to four

27 days ago

Binningen – source: Wikipedia
The coronavirus has claimed its fourth victim in Switzerland. A 54 year old man died yesterday in Binningen hospital in the canton of Basel-Landschaft, according to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).
The man attended an evangelical church gathering of 2,000 people held between 17 and 24 February 2020 in the French city of Mulhouse. Several other cases of infection have been linked to the same gathering.
The man, who had been in hospital since 3 March 2020, suffered from pre-existing chronic illness.

Related posts: Coronavirus: too late to close Swiss borders
Coronavirus hits Swiss train passenger numbers
Geneva watch fair cancelled over coronavirus fears
What Would Murray Say

Read More »

Coronavirus: too late to close Swiss borders

28 days ago

Switzerland’s government and health officials presented a coronavirus update yesterday. Key elements of the presentation are set out below.
[embedded content]The full coronavirus press update can be viewed above in German.
Closing borders is now pointless
Patrick Mathys, who is leading the coronavirus response at the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), said epidemiologically that closing the borders would achieve nothing and would not slow the spread of the virus. It’s too late. Perhaps if it had been done immediately it would have worked, he said.
Will the ban on gatherings be extended?
Mathys said he thinks so. We must prepare for it.
What about international trains?
Christian Bock, the federal customs director, said his department isn’t responsible for

Read More »

Swiss National Bank to distribute 4 billion francs of profit

March 3, 2020

 © Michael Müller | Dreamstime.com In 2019, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) made a profit of around CHF 49 billion. These profits came mainly from the rising value of the assets on the bank’s balance sheet. In 2019, the value of its holdings of foreign currency and gold rose substantially. When combined with interest, dividend income and gains …

Read More »

Swiss health authority adds avoiding handshakes to coronavirus advice

March 2, 2020

In response to the increased spread of the novel Coronavirus Switzerland’s health authority has issued new hygiene advice, which includes avoiding hand shakes.

© Rido | Dreamstime.comThis additional measure was added recently along with two others: dispose of used paper tissues in a sealed waste bin and always call ahead before going to the doctor’s or the emergency department.

The government campaign ‘Protect yourself and others’ tells you how you can apply basic hygiene rules and what to do if you experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, a cough or a high temperature.

For medical questions there is a coronavirus infoline +41 58 463 00 00, which is open around the clock.

More on this:FOPH coronavirus advice (in French) – Take a 5 minute French test now

For more

Read More »

Swiss National Bank to distribute 4 billion francs of profit

March 2, 2020

In 2019, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) made a profit of around CHF 49 billion.

 © Michael Müller | Dreamstime.comThese profits came mainly from the rising value of the assets on the bank’s balance sheet. In 2019, the value of its holdings of foreign currency and gold rose substantially. When combined with interest, dividend income and gains on shares total profits for the year were CHF 49 billion. When combined with past retained profits, the SNB’s total accumulated profits rose to CHF 88 billion at the end of 2019.

Existing rules allowed the bank to pay shareholders a total of CHF 1.5 million and the federal government and cantons a total of CHF 2 billion. These rules, which were agreed in 2016, allow the bank to distribute an extra CHF 1 billion if it has more than CHF 20 billion

Read More »

Potential relief for some Swiss renters

March 2, 2020

Every three months the rate of interest used to benchmark Swiss rents is reviewed. If it goes down some renters have the right to request a decrease in rent. This time the reference rate fell from 1.50% to 1.25%.

© Ocskay Mark | Dreamstime.comThe last time it dropped was 2 June 2017 when it fell to 1.5%.

The rate is based on the average Swiss mortgage rate over three months. This rate is then rounded to the nearest 0.25%. On 31 December 2019 that rate was 1.37%, which is closer to 1.25% (-0.12) than 1.5% (+0.13).

In general if your rental contract links your rent to mortgage interest rates then you can demand a decrease in rent when this reference rate declines. The Swiss Association of Tenants, Romande branch, provides useful information on when and how to go about making a

Read More »

Potential relief for some Swiss renters

March 2, 2020

© Ocskay Mark | Dreamstime.com Every three months the rate of interest used to benchmark Swiss rents is reviewed. If it goes down some renters have the right to request a decrease in rent. This time the reference rate fell from 1.50% to 1.25%. The last time it dropped was 2 June 2017 when it fell to 1.5%. …

Read More »

Close to one fifth of households in Switzerland behind on debt payments

February 29, 2020

 © Kawee Srital On | Dreamstime.com In 2017, 18.9% of Switzerland’s population lived in a household with outstanding debt repayments, a percentage that has rose from 17.7% over the proceeding 4 years. The most common forms of outstanding debts were taxes, health insurance premiums and phone bills. 9.9% of households had outstanding tax payments, 7.3% owed health insurance …

Read More »

Close to one fifth of households in Switzerland behind on debt payments

February 28, 2020

In 2017, 18.9% of Switzerland’s population lived in a household with outstanding debt repayments, a percentage that has rose from 17.7% over the proceeding 4 years.

 © Kawee Srital On | Dreamstime.comThe most common forms of outstanding debts were taxes, health insurance premiums and phone bills. 9.9% of households had outstanding tax payments, 7.3% owed health insurance money and 5.2% had an outstanding telecommunications bill. 

The most common reason for going into debt was to buy a car, a rapidly depreciating asset. 23.3% of the population had car debts in 2017, more than the 15.7% who had borrowed money to buy a home.

The most likely people to be in a household with debt payment arrears were the poorly educated (26.3%), the unemployed (43.7%) and households with one parent

Read More »

Swiss Post stops accepting parcels and letters to China

February 23, 2020

© Wimseyed | Dreamstime.com Swiss Post has said it will no longer accept packages addressed to China, according to Tribune de Genève. Because of the covid-19 virus, airlines have stopped or drastically reduced flights to China. This fall in air traffic has reduced postal service capacity to China by two thirds. Mail can still be sent if it …

Read More »

Swiss Post stops accepting parcels and letters to China

February 21, 2020

Swiss Post has said it will no longer accept packages addressed to China, according to Tribune de Genève.

© Wimseyed | Dreamstime.comBecause of the covid-19 virus, airlines have stopped or drastically reduced flights to China. This fall in air traffic has reduced postal service capacity to China by two thirds.

Mail can still be sent if it is marked urgent, however delivery times cannot be guaranteed.

Denmark, Georgia, Greece, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Spain and the US have also said they are suspending deliveries to China.

More on this:Tribune de Genève article (in French) – Take a 5 minute French test now

For more stories like this on Switzerland follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Read More »

Canton of Valais wants to make school skiing compulsory

February 21, 2020

For school pupils in canton Valais, skiing could soon be part of the curriculum under plans to create three obligatory snow sports days a year, the NZZ am Sonntag reports.

© Corepics Vof | Dreamstime.comChristophe Darbellay, the canton’s education minister, wants to get young people back on skis to ensure the future of the sport, which generated CHF 758 million in Switzerland from lift passes alone in 2018/19.

The project, which will cost CHF 2.7 million, has been approved by the canton’s government and is set to start in 2020/21.

Third year pupils (8 year olds) and onwards will spend three of their indoor school sports days skiing. The ski days would form part of the compulsory curriculum for pupils at schools signing up to the scheme. Darbellay said he expects most schools to

Read More »

The labels that show how much more international retailers charge Swiss

February 21, 2020

To simplify labelling, many international retailers put recommended retail prices (RRP) for multiple nations on the same label, like the one below.
The Swiss retail price premium laid bare.
Labels such as these show how much more Swiss customers are being charged compared to customers in other countries.
The label above, from an item of clothing sold in Switzerland, shows how much more Swiss customers are charged.
The RRP for Switzerland is the highest. The Swiss pre-VAT price is 21% higher than the average of the other nine countries in the chart below.
The comparison focuses on pre-VAT prices because these reflects the true return to the retailer.
All of the prices across Europe are reasonably close except for Switzerland, which appears to be singled out. The

Read More »

The labels that show how much more international retailers charge Swiss

February 19, 2020

To simplify labelling, many international retailers put recommended retail prices (RRP) for multiple nations on the same label, like the one below.

The Swiss retail price premium laid bare.Labels such as these show how much more Swiss customers are being charged compared to customers in other countries.

The label above, from an item of clothing sold in Switzerland, shows how much more Swiss customers are charged.

The RRP for Switzerland is the highest. The Swiss pre-VAT price is 21% higher than the average of the other nine countries in the chart below.

The comparison focuses on pre-VAT prices because these reflects the true return to the retailer.

All of the prices across Europe are reasonably close except for Switzerland, which appears to be singled out. The Swiss

Read More »

Geneva looks at sugar tax but excludes one of the worst products

February 19, 2020

A commission for the canton of Geneva’s government supports a tax on added sugar to fight obesity, according to the newspaper Le Temps.

 © Lightpoet | Dreamstime.comBertrand Buchs and Delphine Bachmann, two elected officials active in the medical sector, are behind the initiative.

The text required to implement the tax, which takes aim at added sugar, is likely to be put to a government vote in March 2020. The money collected would be spent on raising awareness of the damaging health effects of sugar.

Some are skeptical of the impact of sugar taxes. In Geneva, it is easy to shop in the neighbouring canton of Vaud or in France, although France introduced an added sugar tax in 2018.

Unfortunately, many sugar taxes, like the one in France, are narrowly focused on added sugar. But

Read More »

Portugal set to end tax holidays for foreign residents

February 18, 2020
[caption id="attachment_414651" align="alignleft" width="400"] © Tomas1111 | Dreamstime.com[/caption]

Recently, the government of Portugal said it was looking at introducing a tax on foreigners residing in the country on special tax holidays, according to the magazine Bilan.

Currently, foreigners moving to Portugal who spend at least 180 days a year in the country pay no income tax for a period of 10 years under a scheme that was launched 11 years ago.

According to Portuguese media there are almost 30,000 residents benefiting from the arrangement, most of them retirees, many from Switzerland.

Some in Portugal grumble about the upward pressure new arrivals have exerted on property prices in Lisbon and Porto.

European governments, such as Sweden’s and

Read More »