Monday , September 16 2019
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

Tobacco consumption costs Switzerland 5 billion francs a year

2 days ago

© Mcwilli1 | Dreamstime.com Health care in Switzerland is funded by a mixture of taxes and health insurance premiums. Much of the insurance premiums paid are compulsory with no discounts offered to non-smokers. According to figures recently published by the Swiss association for smoking, the annual direct medical costs of smoking are CHF 3 billion …

Read More »

Housing vacancies rise in 20 Swiss cantons

3 days ago

© Ppvector | Dreamstime.com Recent figures show an annual 4.2% rise in the number of vacant homes in Switzerland, extending a trend that started 10 years ago, according to the Federal Statistical Office. At the start of June 2019, there were 75,323 vacant homes, representing 1.66% of Switzerland’s total stock of homes. However, high vacancy …

Read More »

Tobacco consumption costs Switzerland 5 billion francs a year

4 days ago

Health care in Switzerland is funded by a mixture of taxes and health insurance premiums. Much of the insurance premiums paid are compulsory with no discounts offered to non-smokers.

© Mcwilli1 | Dreamstime.comAccording to figures recently published by the Swiss association for smoking, the annual direct medical costs of smoking are CHF 3 billion (2015), or CHF 350 per person. This sum represents 3.9% of Switzerland’s total annual health spending.

Tobacco use is the main risk factor for numerous heart and lung diseases. For example more than 80% of lung cancer cases in men 35 or older are directly linked to tobacco use, according to the report.

The CHF 3 billion medical cost is made up of CHF 1.2 billion to treat smoking-related cancer, CHF 1 billion to treat smoking-related

Read More »

The remarkable rise of Switzerland’s GDP per capita

4 days ago

In 1998, GDP per person in Switzerland was CHF 59,693. Recently published statistics put the figure at CHF 80,986 in 2018, a rise of 36%.

 © Mr.siwabud Veerapaisarn | Dreamstime.comWhen Swiss GDP per capita is expressed in globally comparable US dollar terms its rise is even greater. In US dollar terms Swiss GDP per capita grew from US$ 41,497 to US$ 82,839 between 1998 and 2018, a rise of 100%.

In Germany the same figure went from US$ 27,341 to US$ 48,196, a rise of 76%, in France from US$ 24,974 to US$ 41,464 (+66%) and in Italy from US$ 22,252 to US$ 34,318 (+54%).

At its US$ peak in 2011, Swiss GDP per capita (US$88,416) was 2.4 times the average EU GDP per capita (US$ 36,457).

More on this:Federal Statistical Office data (in French)  – Take a 5 minute French test nowWorld

Read More »

The remarkable rise of GDP per capita in Switzerland

4 days ago

© Mr.siwabud Veerapaisarn | Dreamstime.com In 1998, GDP per person in Switzerland was CHF 59,693. Recently published statistics put the figure at CHF 80,986 in 2018, a rise of 36%. When Swiss GDP per capita is expressed in globally comparable US dollar terms its rise is even greater. In US dollar terms Swiss GDP per …

Read More »

Housing vacancies rise in 20 Swiss cantons

4 days ago

Recent figures show an annual 4.2% rise in the number of vacant homes in Switzerland, extending a trend that started 10 years ago, according to the Federal Statistical Office.

© Ppvector | Dreamstime.comAt the start of June 2019, there were 75,323 vacant homes, representing 1.66% of Switzerland’s total stock of homes.

However, high vacancy rates in some regions masked low ones in others. While cantons such as Solothurn (3.40%), Thurgau (2.65%), Jura (2.59%), Aargau (2.59%), Schaffhausen (2.56%) Neuchâtel (2.39%) and Ticino (2.29%) had high vacancy rates, others, such as Zug (0.42%), Geneva (0.54%), Obwalden (0.87%) and Zurich (0.89%) had low ones. Rates in Basel-City (1.02%), Basel-Landschaft (1.06%) and Vaud (1.10%) were well below the 1.66% national average too.

Between 1 June

Read More »

New 100 Swiss Franc Note Coming Soon

9 days ago

Recently, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) unveiled the new 100 franc banknote.
Only one note missing – © Janusz Pieńkowski | Dreamstime.com
The note’s design is inspired by Switzerland’s tradition of humanitarianism, represented on the note by water.
The note remains blue but is much smaller than the existing one, making it easier to fit into wallets.
The note is the last one in Switzerland’s ninth series of notes to be updated. Updating the series began in April 2016 with the introduction of a new 50 franc note.
The series’ theme, which was designed by Manuela Pfrunder, is the “Many facets of Switzerland”
With 125 million notes in circulation, the 100 franc note is Switzerland’s most popular. The 20 (86 million), 10 (76 million) and 50 (58 million) trail far behind

Read More »

Banks move to cool investment property market in Switzerland

10 days ago

Swiss banks have agreed to tighten lending conditions for investment properties following concerns by the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA), a self-regulatory body.

© Alexandre Zveiger | Dreamstime.comThe SBA, which represents most of Switzerland’s banks, has issued new lending guidelines requiring lending deposits of at least 25% of the assessed value of the property for residential investment properties. In addition, minimum annual loan repayments must reduce loans by one third over the first 10 years.

The current rules require a deposit of 10% and a third of the loan be repaid over 15 years.

Despite existing lending restrictions, the amount of mortgage lending in Switzerland has continued to rise, recently reaching CHF 1 trillion.

Low interest rates have increased the

Read More »

Welfare fraudster gets nearly 4 years in prison

10 days ago

A man in Zurich has been sentenced to close to four years in prison after receiving more than half a million francs of welfare despite possessing numerous cars and large bank balances, according to Tages-Anzeiger and reported in 20 Minutes.

© Andrey Popov | Dreamstime.comThe 51 year old man from Kosovo, who received CHF 527,000 of welfare money between 2003 and 2014, failed to declare eight bank accounts, one with a balance of around CHF 196,000. In addition, between 2003 and 2015, he’d owned 31 cars.

When questioned in court about the welfare payments the man claimed he could not remember and that the money in the bank accounts was not his. The judge decided his testimony was unreliable because he was unable to justify how he had obtained and transferred amounts totaling CHF

Read More »

Suspected welfare cheats can be trailed from October

10 days ago

Agencies paying social welfare in Switzerland will be able to hire detectives to uncover fraud from 1 October 2019.

© Tero Vesalainen | Dreamstime.comIn Switzerland, between 2009 and 2016, detectives were used on around 220 investigations a year. Two thirds of those trailed were found guilty of fraud.

In 2016, the European court of human rights ruled that accident beneficiaries should not be tracked because there was no defined Swiss legal framework covering the practice. Then in 2017, the Federal Tribunal, Switzerland’s highest court, ruled against the practice for disability beneficiaries too. The government then produced new laws to clarify what is possible and what is not.

Many people objected to the new laws so it was put to a vote. On 25 November 2018 64.7% of Swiss voters

Read More »

New 100 Swiss franc note coming soon

10 days ago

Recently, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) unveiled the new 100 franc banknote.

Only one note missing – © Janusz Pieńkowski | Dreamstime.comThe note’s design is inspired by Switzerland’s tradition of humanitarianism, represented on the note by water.

The note remains blue but is much smaller than the existing one, making it easier to fit into wallets.

The note is the last one in Switzerland’s ninth series of notes to be updated. Updating the series began in April 2016 with the introduction of a new 50 franc note.

The series’ theme, which was designed by Manuela Pfrunder, is the “Many facets of Switzerland”

With 125 million notes in circulation, the 100 franc note is Switzerland’s most popular. The 20 (86 million), 10 (76 million) and 50 (58 million) trail far behind the 100,

Read More »

Most Swiss Election Candidates Favour Raising Retirement age to 67

14 days ago

A majority of the candidates putting themselves forward for election as federal parliamentarians on 20 October 2019 favour raising Switzerland’s retirement age to 67, according to a survey done by Smartvote and reported in the newspaper NZZ am Sonntag.
© Epicstock | Dreamstime.com
This could produce a parliamentary majority on the issue after the federal election.
Switzerland’s official retirement age has moved into political focus as the country’s pay-as-you-go state pension system comes under the financial strain of an aging population and increased longevity.
Public reactions to the idea are mixed, however the arithmetic is difficult to overlook.
With Swiss life expectancy at 84 years, the average time spent collecting a pension in Switzerland is close to 20

Read More »

Swiss Research Leads to Cancer Break Through

16 days ago

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute recently deciphered the structure of the CC chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7), a signaling protein.
© Bogdan Hoda | Dreamstime.com
Cancer cells use CCR7 to guide themselves into the lymphatic system, spreading cancer throughout the body. The resulting secondary tumors, called metastases, are responsible for most cancer deaths.
This new understanding of CCR7 is a break through that forms a foundation for developing drugs that could lead to treatments to reduce the spread of certain types of cancer, including colorectal cancer, the second most common malignant tumor worldwide.
Based on this work, scientists at the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche found a number of compounds in their database that might block the CCR7 signaling

Read More »

Swiss Trade with Much of South America should Soon be Tarif Free

17 days ago

A deal agreed between EFTA and the South American Mercosur bloc, which includes Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay, with a combined population of 260 million, is close to signing.
© Tomas Griger | Dreamstime.com
EFTA includes Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.
Under the deal, 95% of Switzerland’s CHF 3.6 million annual exports to the bloc would be tarif free.
The deal is important because the EU recently agreed a similar Mercosur deal, so this deal will maintain Switzerland’s current competitive position with EU exporters to the region.
Not everyone is happy. Switzerland’s farmers fear South American meat imports will affect the prices they receive for theirs. Switzerland’s 155,000 farmer produce around CHF 10 billion a year, around 1% of

Read More »

Swiss trade with much of South America should soon be tariff free

17 days ago

A deal agreed between EFTA and the South American Mercosur bloc, which includes Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay, with a combined population of 260 million, is close to signing.

© Tomas Griger | Dreamstime.comEFTA includes Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

Under the deal, 95% of Switzerland’s CHF 3.6 million annual exports to the bloc would be tariff free.

The deal is important because the EU recently agreed a similar Mercosur deal, so this deal will maintain Switzerland’s current competitive position with EU exporters to the region.

Not everyone is happy. Switzerland’s farmers fear South American meat imports will affect the prices they receive for theirs. Switzerland’s 155,000 farmer produce around CHF 10 billion a year, around 1% of Switzerland’s

Read More »

Most Swiss election candidates favour raising retirement age to 67

17 days ago

A majority of the candidates putting themselves forward for election as federal parliamentarians on 20 October 2019 favour raising Switzerland’s retirement age to 67, according to a survey done by Smartvote and reported in the newspaper NZZ am Sonntag.

© Epicstock | Dreamstime.comThis could produce a parliamentary majority on the issue after the federal election.

Switzerland’s official retirement age has moved into political focus as the country’s pay-as-you-go state pension system comes under the financial strain of an aging population and increased longevity.

Public reactions to the idea are mixed, however the arithmetic is difficult to overlook.

With Swiss life expectancy at 84 years, the average time spent collecting a pension in Switzerland is close to 20 years, around

Read More »

Swiss research leads to cancer break through

17 days ago

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute recently deciphered the structure of the CC chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7), a signaling protein.

© Bogdan Hoda | Dreamstime.comCancer cells use CCR7 to guide themselves into the lymphatic system, spreading cancer throughout the body. The resulting secondary tumors, called metastases, are responsible for most cancer deaths.

This new understanding of CCR7 is a break through that forms a foundation for developing drugs that could lead to treatments to reduce the spread of certain types of cancer, including colorectal cancer, the second most common malignant tumor worldwide.

Based on this work, scientists at the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche found a number of compounds in their database that might block the CCR7 signaling protein and that

Read More »

Swiss meat remains most expensive in Europe

18 days ago

To anyone familiar with Swiss prices, the results of Eurostats’ 2018 European meat price comparison will come as no surprise.

© Vadim Lerner | Dreamstime.comThe study compares the average meat price across 38 European countries to the average meat price across the EU (EU-28 nations).

Meat includes beef and veal, pork, lamb, mutton and goat, poultry, other meats and edible offal, delicatessen and other meat preparations.

At the bottom of the price ranking was Montenegro where meat cost on average 62% of the EU average. Switzerland came top with an average price 2.28 times the EU average.

Switzerland’s meat price premium was lower in 2018 than in 2017 when it was 2.4 times the European average.

Other nations with pricey meat include Iceland (1.65), Norway (1.55), Austria

Read More »

Swiss unemployment down in second quarter of 2019

22 days ago

© Pressahotkey | Dreamstime.com In the second quarter of 2019, the percentage of Switzerland’s population working rose by 1.1% and the percentage unemployed fell to 4.2%, based on the higher International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) measure. In the second quarter of 2019, 5.1 million people were working in Switzerland, 60% of the population. The number working …

Read More »

Swiss health insurers to send patients to pharmacy first

23 days ago

© Tero Vesalainen | Dreamstime.com Swiss healthcare is typically ranked the world’s second most expensive, as a percentage of GDP, after the US. In Switzerland, compulsory health insurance premiums cover 37% of healthcare costs. Much of the rest is covered by tax payers and non-reimbursable out-of-pocket payments by individuals. As part of a plan to …

Read More »

Work related stress rising in Switzerland

24 days ago

Work-related stress is affecting more and more people in Switzerland, according to a study published by the Federal Statistical Office.

© Ocusfocus | Dreamstime.comIn 2012, 18% said they felt stressed at work most of the time. By 2017, the same figure had risen to 21%.

Nine potential drivers of on-the-job stress were looked at. Only 11% said they faced none of them, while 50% reported being exposed to at least three, up from 46% in 2012. Those between 15 and 29 (58%) and those working in the transport (60%) and restaurant (66%) sectors were some of the worst affected.

Overall there was little difference between men and women, however there were differences in the detail. More men (54%) faced high work loads than women (50%) and more men (21%) suffered from a lack of social

Read More »

Swiss unemployment down in second quarter of 2019

24 days ago

In the second quarter of 2019, the percentage of Switzerland’s population working rose by 1.1% and the percentage unemployed fell to 4.2%, based on the higher International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) measure.

© Pressahotkey | Dreamstime.comIn the second quarter of 2019, 5.1 million people were working in Switzerland, 60% of the population. The number working rose 1.1% compared to the previous year, particularly among women (+2.0%). Employment rose 0.3% among men.

The number of unemployed fell to 205,000, 21,000 fewer than at the same point in 2018. The number unemployed was 4.2% of the working population, down from 4.6% at the same point in 2018. The Swiss rate was lower than the average EU-28 rate, which fell from 6.8% to 6.3%.

The average time spent out of work fell from 270

Read More »

Swiss government approves measures to cut healthcare costs

24 days ago

Swiss healthcare is expensive and most of it is paid directly by individuals (69%). Only the US has a more expensive healthcare system, according to Switzerland’s Federal Statistical Office.

© Ginasanders | Dreamstime.comThe political pressure on Switzerland’s government to address the problem has been intensifying for some time.

This week, the federal government announced nine measures to cut healthcare costs that it expects could save hundreds of millions of francs annually.

The key ones include improved negotiations with healthcare providers, reference prices for generic drugs and greater price transparency. 

Reference prices for generic drugs, those with expired patents, could save CHF 300 to CHF 500 million, estimates the Federal Council. Currently, these drugs in

Read More »

Swiss health insurers to send patients to pharmacy first

24 days ago

Swiss healthcare is typically ranked the world’s second most expensive, as a percentage of GDP, after the US.

© Tero Vesalainen | Dreamstime.comIn Switzerland, compulsory health insurance premiums cover 37% of healthcare costs. Much of the rest is covered by tax payers and non-reimbursable out-of-pocket payments by individuals.

As part of a plan to reduce costs, this week, the health insurer Groupe Mutuel, launched a new lower cost plan which requires its clients to go to the pharmacy for help before calling their doctor or a medical specialist, according to Le Matin Dimanche and reported in Le Temps.

Patients on the plan are required to go a designated pharmacy before going to a doctor. A pharmacist decides whether a doctor’s appointment is required. Pharmacists do not charge

Read More »

Swiss taxis Europe’s most expensive

August 16, 2019

In a recent comparison of taxi fares across Europe, Geneva and Zurich were the most expensive.
© Corepics Vof | Dreamstime.com
In the study, which focused on the total cost of a taxi journey from the airport to the centre of town, Geneva (€36 – CHF40) and Zurich (€63 – CHF70) fared better than Milan (€105) and London (€104), which had the highest total journey costs. However, this is only because Zurich and Geneva airports are close to the city centre.
The per-kilometre taxi costs in Zurich (€5.25) and Geneva (€6.00) were roughly double that of the most expensive airport journeys in Milan (€2.02) and London (€2.85).
The 52 km trip between the centre of Milan and Bergamo airport (€105) was the most costly, but cost only €2.02 per km. The trip from Stansted to

Read More »

Swiss taxis Europe’s most expensive

August 15, 2019

In a recent comparison of taxi fares across Europe, Geneva and Zurich were the most expensive.

©  Corepics Vof | Dreamstime.comIn the study, which focused on the total cost of a taxi journey from the airport to the centre of town, Geneva (€36 – CHF40) and Zurich (€63 – CHF70) fared better than Milan (€105) and London (€104), which had the highest total journey costs. However, this is only because Zurich and Geneva airports are close to the city centre.

The per-kilometre taxi costs in Zurich (€5.25) and Geneva (€6.00) were roughly double that of the most expensive airport journeys in Milan (€2.02) and London (€2.85).

The 52 km trip between the centre of Milan and Bergamo airport (€105) was the most costly, but cost only €2.02 per km. The trip from Stansted to London, the second

Read More »

EU court rejects Swiss union criticism

August 9, 2019

Criticism of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) by Swiss unions intensified in 2007 after the Court ruled against workers in the Laval case in Sweden.

© Paulgrecaud | Dreamstime.comLatvian workers were being paid less than the minimum wage on a construction site in Sweden. In protest, local workers blockaded the site. However, the CJEU ruled against the blockade on the grounds that it prevented the free movement of services.

Swiss unions viewed the ruling as a failure to protect the rights of workers and felt it set a dangerous precedent that might one day be applied in Switzerland.

The application of EU court decisions is a point of contention in Switzerland and one of the sticking points in current negotiations between Bern and Brussels over the formulation of

Read More »

Four football bosses accused of fraud by Swiss Attorney General

August 9, 2019

Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has accused three former officials of the German Football Association (DFB) and one from FIFA of fraud and has filed an indictment against them.

© Brillianceeye | Dreamstime.comHorst Rudolf Schmidt, Theo Zwanziger and Wolfgang Niersbach, from the DFB, and Urs Linsi, a former Swiss FIFA official are all under the spotlight. 

The four are accused of fraudulently misleading members of a supervisory body of the DFB organising committee for the 2006 World Cup in Germany in April 2005 about the true purpose of a payment of around EUR 6.7 million.

Schmidt, Zwanziger and Linsi are accused of joint fraud, while Niersbach is accused of being complicit in fraud.

The presumption of innocence of the accused is guaranteed until the final

Read More »

Drug addicts entitled to welfare, rules Switzerland’s highest court

August 9, 2019

Until recently, Swiss case law placed the responsibility for drug addiction on the drug user.

© Tomas Nevesely | Dreamstime.comDrug addicts only qualified for disability welfare if their addiction was connected with an illness or accident.

A recent ruling on a case by the Federal Tribunal, Switzerland’s highest court, changes this. 

The case involved a man in Zurich dependent on opioids and benzodiazepines, a type of drug sometimes used to alleviate the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Unable to work, the man argued he was entitled to disability welfare. 

After having his case rejected by a court in Zurich, on appeal, the Federal Tribunal decided that the semi-skilled car mechanic was not responsible for his inability to work. Instead, drug addiction was the cause.

Going

Read More »

Switzerland has highest underemployment in Europe

August 4, 2019

© Mr.phonlawat Chaicheevinlikit | Dreamstime.com In 2018, 830,000 people in Switzerland were unable to find the work they wanted, according the Federal Statistical Office. While 243,000 were looking but not immediately available and 231,000 were unemployed, most (356,000) were underemployed – working but unable to find as many hours of work as they’d like. The …

Read More »