Saturday , July 21 2018
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

Swiss meat processor, Bell, invests in synthetic meat

17 hours ago

This week, Bell, a Swiss meat processor, announced an investment in Dutch synthetic meat start-up Mosa Meat.
A burger made from Cultured Beef
Mosa Meat, a leader in the market of cultured beef, was co-founded by Mark Post of the University of Maastricht, who is considered to be the global pioneer in the production of cultured meat.
Rather than a meat substitute, cultured meat is meat grown in vitro. Muscle cells are extracted from an animal and placed in a solution that feeds them and allows them to multiply.
The first 150 grams of cultured meat, which were produced in 2013, cost US$ 330,000.
Bell hopes to have meat produced without the aid of an animal on shop shelves by 2021. The product is aimed at those who avoid meat for ethical or environmental reasons.
More on this:Bell press

Read More »

The large tax differences between Swiss cantons

6 days ago

In Switzerland, tax is largely determined by the canton of residence. The range of tax rates is wide.

In 2017, a single person earning CHF 100,000 paid only CHF 7,592 in the canton of Zug but CHF 19,233 in the canton of Neuchâtel, more than 2.5 times as much.

Someone married with children earning the same amount paid CHF 920 in Zug and CHF 9,249 in Neuchâtel, more than 10 times as much.

The chart above shows tax rates for single and married people with two children earning CHF 100,000 by canton in 2017. Tax rates also vary slightly within cantons by municipality. The figures above are for the capital city of each canton.

The numbers come from a report published by Switzerland’s Federal Statistical

Read More »

EU migration into Switzerland down significantly in 2017

7 days ago

© Arturo Osorno | Dreamstime.com Net migration into Switzerland from the EU was down by 11% last year, according to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). In 2017, a net 31,250 people from the EU and EFTA moved to Switzerland. And, with a 4% decline in the number arriving over the five months to …

Read More »

EU migration into Switzerland down significantly in 2017

9 days ago

Net migration into Switzerland from the EU was down by 11% last year, according to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
© Arturo Osorno | Dreamstime.com
In 2017, a net 31,250 people from the EU and EFTA moved to Switzerland. And, with a 4% decline in the number arriving over the five months to May 2018, the fall looks set to continue.
For some nationalities the net flow went into reverse. In 2017, more Portuguese left Switzerland than arrived.
The fall appears to be related to diverging job markets. In 2017, jobs growth in Switzerland trailed the EU.
EU and EFTA arrivals are concentrated at both ends of the job skill spectrum. In 2017, 54 % were tertiary qualified – these percentage were even higher for French (63%) and Germans (50%). At the other end, 17% had no post school

Read More »

The large tax differences between Swiss cantons

9 days ago

In Switzerland, tax is largely determined by the canton of residence. The range of tax rates is wide.

In 2017, a single person earning CHF 100,000 paid only CHF 7,592 in the canton of Zug but CHF 19,233 in the canton of Neuchâtel, more than 2.5 times as much.
Someone married with children earning the same amount paid CHF 920 in Zug and CHF 9,249 in Neuchâtel, more than 10 times as much.

The chart above shows tax rates by canton in 2017 for single and married people with two children earning CHF 100,000. Tax rates also vary slightly within cantons by municipality. The figures above are for residents of the capital city of each canton.
The numbers come from a report published by Switzerland’s Federal Statistical Office on 11 July 2018.
More on this:Tax charges in Switzerland (in

Read More »

TV Recording could be under threat in Switzerland

13 days ago

With TV recording there’s no need to miss programmes just because they’re on at the wrong time. And, when it’s time to watch them, it’s easy to fast forward through the adverts, something that can’t be done when watching live.
©-Sebastian-L-_-Dreamstime.com_ – Click to enlarge
In Switzerland, television recording is offered by big distributers, such as Swisscom, Sunrise and UPC. Broadcasters don’t provide it.
While fast forwarding adverts is great for viewers, broadcasters, who claim to have missed out on CHF 87 million in 2016 from advert fast forwarding, are unhappy.
In Switzerland, among 15 to 59 year-olds, recorded TV viewing has risen roughly four-fold to around 25% in the last four years, with 60% to 80% fast

Read More »

Recording TV could be under threat in Switzerland

15 days ago

With TV recording there’s no need to miss programmes just because they’re on at the wrong time. And, when it’s time to watch them, it’s easy to fast forward through the adverts, something that can’t be done when watching live.
© Sebastian L | Dreamstime.com
In Switzerland, television recording is offered by big distributers, such as Swisscom, Sunrise and UPC. Broadcasters don’t provide it.
While fast forwarding adverts is great for viewers, broadcasters, who claim to have missed out on CHF 87 million in 2016 from advert fast forwarding, are unhappy.
In Switzerland, among 15 to 59 year-olds, recorded TV viewing has risen roughly four-fold to around 25% in the last four years, with 60% to 80% fast forward through the ad breaks.
In return for TV content, distributers paid broadcasters CHF 7.6

Read More »

Swiss VAT might rise to fund lower company tax rates

16 days ago

© Brad Calkins | Dreamstime.com Historically, Switzerland has offered certain foreign companies special preferential tax deals in order to attract them. In response to international pressure, the current system is to be phased out replacing preferential tax rates with lower universal ones in the hope that these companies will stay. The central challenge is how …

Read More »

Swiss VAT might rise to fund lower company tax rates

17 days ago

Historically, Switzerland has offered certain foreign companies special preferential tax deals in order to attract them.
© Brad Calkins | Dreamstime.com
In response to international pressure, the current system is to be phased out replacing preferential tax rates with lower universal ones in the hope that these companies will stay.
The central challenge is how to cover the tax revenue lost when companies taxed at the main rate switch to new lower universal tax rates. The federal government plans to help cantons fill tax revenue gaps, but the money has to come from somewhere.
A reform plan, put to a federal vote in February 2017, was rejected by 59.1% of voters. This sent the federal government back to the drawing board.
Many ideas have been kicked around. One, to increase social security

Read More »

Swiss Town Tests Blockchain-Based Voting

22 days ago

On 25 June 2018, the city of Zug, the town at the heart of Switzerland’s crypto valley, started testing a voting system based on blockchain technology.
©-Denis-Linine-_-Dreamstime.com_ – Click to enlarge
During the trial, which runs until 1 July 2018, around 200 voters will cast non-binding municipal votes on mock questions in a trial designed to identify any bugs in a system built by the company Luxsoft and the computer science department of Lucerne’s University of Applied Sciences.
In the Tweet below, Dolfi Müller, Zug’s mayor, can be seen casting the first vote on the blockchain system.
Instead of regular e-voting, which uses a central server, blockchain processing is decentralized, making hacking much more

Read More »

Geneva set to vote on world’s highest minimum wage

23 days ago

In May 2014, Switzerland voted against a minimum wage of CHF 22 an hour.

At some point voters in the canton of Geneva will get to vote on a similar initiative, which would apply only in the canton. Similar to the federal vote, which was rejected by 76.3% of Swiss voters, the plan calls for a minimum hourly wage of CHF 23 ($US 23.40). Based on a 40-hour week, this works out at around CHF 4,000 per month.
Vote organisers in Geneva collected 7,700 signatures, far more that the 5,227 minimum required.
A similar minimum wage vote succeeded in the canton Neuchâtel. In 2017, the canton introduced a minimum wage of CHF 19.70.
At a certain level, minimum wages are widely accepted as socially and economically desirable. If

Read More »

EU Unemployment Rule change could cost Switzerland dearly

24 days ago

Currently, across EU and EFTA countries, unemployment benefits are paid by the country of residence. Last week, the EU announced plans to make the country of employment pay unemployment benefits instead.
©-Meryll-_-Dreamstime.com-1 – Click to enlarge
This change could be costly for Swiss cantons with large numbers of cross-border workers, workers who live in the EU but work in Switzerland.
In March 2018, there were 316,000 workers in Switzerland living outside the country. Cantons with the most cross-border workers were Geneva (84k), Ticino (63k), Basel-City (35k) and Vaud (30k).
Speaking to the newspaper Tribune de Genève, Cornelia Lüthy, from the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), said the extra cost to

Read More »

Geneva set to vote on world’s highest minimum wage

25 days ago

In May 2014, Switzerland voted against a minimum wage of CHF 22 an hour.

At some point voters in the canton of Geneva will get to vote on a similar initiative, which would apply only in the canton. Similar to the federal vote, which was rejected by 76.3% of Swiss voters, the plan calls for a minimum hourly wage of CHF 23 ($US 23.40). Based on a 40-hour week, this works out at around CHF 4,000 per month.
Vote organisers in Geneva collected 7,700 signatures, far more that the 5,227 minimum required.
A similar minimum wage vote succeeded in the canton Neuchâtel. In 2017, the canton introduced a minimum wage of CHF 19.70.
At a certain level, minimum wages are widely accepted as socially and economically desirable. If set too high economists start to worry about price elasticity and

Read More »

Swiss town tests blockchain-based voting

25 days ago

On 25 June 2018, the city of Zug, the town at the heart of Switzerland’s crypto valley, started testing a voting system based on blockchain technology.
© Denis Linine | Dreamstime.com
During the trial, which runs until 1 July 2018, around 200 voters will cast non-binding municipal votes on mock questions in a trial designed to identify any bugs in a system built by the company Luxsoft and the computer science department of Lucerne’s University of Applied Sciences.
In the Tweet below, Dolfi Müller, Zug’s mayor, can be seen casting the first vote on the blockchain system.

Dolfi Müller, Mayor of Zug casting the first vote on the #blockchain solution built in cooperation with CVA members @hslu & @luxoft and using the @uport_me app! #cryptovalley @coindesk @Cointelegraph @bravenewcoin

Read More »

Nearly 1 in 20 in Switzerland are millionaires, according wealth to report

25 days ago

© Andrii Chernykh | Dreamstime.com The 2017, a wealth report, published by Capgemini, shows there were 389,000 US$ millionaires in Switzerland, around 4.5% of the population, or close to 1 in 20. If children under the age of 15 are excluded, Switzerland’s millionaire percentage rises to 7.3%. In addition, these figures include only investable wealth, …

Read More »

EU unemployment rule change could cost Switzerland dearly

26 days ago

Currently, across EU and EFTA countries, unemployment benefits are paid by the country of residence. Last week, the EU announced plans to make the country of employment pay unemployment benefits instead.
© Meryll | Dreamstime.com
This change could be costly for Swiss cantons with large numbers of cross-border workers, workers who live in the EU but work in Switzerland.
In March 2018, there were 316,000 workers in Switzerland living outside the country. Cantons with the most cross-border workers were Geneva (84k), Ticino (63k), Basel-City (35k) and Vaud (30k).
Speaking to the newspaper Tribune de Genève, Cornelia Lüthy, from the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), said the extra cost to Switzerland could be hundreds of millions of francs.
The EU decision is not yet definitive. And,

Read More »

Nearly 1 in 20 in Switzerland are millionaires, according wealth to report

27 days ago

The 2017, a wealth report, published by Capgemini, shows there were 389,000 US$ millionaires in Switzerland, around 4.5% of the population, or close to 1 in 20.
© Andrii Chernykh | Dreamstime.com
If children under the age of 15 are excluded, Switzerland’s millionaire percentage rises to 7.3%.
In addition, these figures include only investable wealth, which does not include the value of family homes. If this wealth was included, the number of millionaires would rise further.
Switzerland’s millionaire percentage was well ahead of the 0.2% global average, and more than double that of the United States, where around 1.6% of the population was a millionaire. In the UK the rate was 0.9%. Even the wealthy asian city states of Hong Kong (2.3%) and Singapore (2.2%) trailed Switzerland.
Switzerland

Read More »

Swiss residential property risks growing in buy to let, according to Swiss National Bank

29 days ago

On 21 June 2018, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) announced its decision on interest rates, which it left unchanged.
Fritz Zurbrügg, Thomas Jordan and Andréa Maechler
Switzerland’s economy has been sailing into the headwinds of a strong currency since the SNB scrapped its exchange rate cap in January 2015 and the Swiss franc briefly went beyond parity with the euro.
To weaken the currency, the SNB introduced negative interest rates and went on a spree of asset buying.
Yesterday, the Bank said it will maintain its -0.75% interest rate and continue to buy assets as required. 5 years ago, the the SNB set up an operation in Singapore so that it can buy and sell assets around the clock.
High on the list of SNB concerns is

Read More »

Swiss residential property risks growing in buy to let, according to Swiss National Bank

29 days ago

On 21 June 2018, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) announced its decision on interest rates, which it left unchanged.

Switzerland’s economy has been sailing into the headwinds of a strong currency since the SNB scrapped its exchange rate cap in January 2015 and the Swiss franc briefly went beyond parity with the euro.
To weaken the currency, the SNB introduced negative interest rates and went on a spree of asset buying.
Yesterday, the Bank said it will maintain its -0.75% interest rate and continue to buy assets as required. 5 years ago, the the SNB set up an operation in Singapore so that it can buy and sell assets around the clock.
High on the list of SNB concerns is Swiss residential property, in particular, buy to let investments. Low mortgage rates have drawn more investment into the

Read More »

The price of solidarity – Switzerland’s inter-cantonal payments for 2019

June 20, 2018

In Switzerland, much in life revolves around the canton. Cantons have their own health, social and education systems, parliaments and tax rates.
Federal government, based in Bern, is a layer that sits over the top, bringing the cantons together as Switzerland.
For some cantons, nationhood has a cost. For others it means extra money. Every year, based on a collection of complicated formulae, the federal government calculates how much certain cantons must pay other cantons, a kind of solidarity transfer.
Today, the inter-cantonal transfers for 2019 were published.
At the same time, the Federal government puts money into the transfer pot – in 2019 it will put in 3.4 billion francs, by far the largest contribution.

Read More »

The price of solidarity – Switzerland’s inter-cantonal payments for 2019

June 19, 2018

In Switzerland, much in life revolves around the canton. Cantons have their own health, social and education systems, parliaments and tax rates.
© Swisshippo | Dreamstime.com
Federal government, based in Bern, is a layer that sits over the top, bringing the cantons together as Switzerland.
For some cantons, nationhood has a cost. For others it means extra money. Every year, based on a collection of complicated formulae, the federal government calculates how much certain cantons must pay other cantons, a kind of solidarity transfer.
Today, the inter-cantonal transfers for 2019 were published.
At the same time, the Federal government puts money into the transfer pot – in 2019 it will put in 3.4 billion francs, by far the largest contribution.

The big payers in 2019 will be Zurich (487

Read More »

Swiss Offshore Wealth Management Sector still World’s Largest by far

June 18, 2018

A report by The Boston Consulting Group highlights the size of Switzerland’s personal offshore wealth management sector.
©-Valeriya-Potapova-_-Dreamstime.com_ – Click to enlarge
Total personal offshore wealth grew by 6% to reach US$8.2 trillion in 2017.
US$2.3 trillion (28%) of this was managed in Switzerland. The top three offshore centres: Switzerland ($2.3 trillion), Hong Kong ($1.1 trillion) and Singapore ($0.9 trillion) made up more than half (52%) of the total.
If past trends continue, Hong Kong and Singapore will eventually surpass Switzerland. Over the last five years annual growth rates in Hong Kong (+11%) and Singapore (+10%) have outstripped Switzerland’s (+3%). Offshore centres such as the Isle of Man

Read More »

Swiss offshore wealth management sector still world’s largest by far

June 18, 2018

A report by The Boston Consulting Group highlights the size of Switzerland’s personal offshore wealth management sector.
© Valeriya Potapova | Dreamstime.com
Total personal offshore wealth grew by 6% to reach US$8.2 trillion in 2017.
US$2.3 trillion (28%) of this was managed in Switzerland. The top three offshore centres: Switzerland ($2.3 trillion), Hong Kong ($1.1 trillion) and Singapore ($0.9 trillion) made up more than half (52%) of the total.
If past trends continue, Hong Kong and Singapore will eventually surpass Switzerland. Over the last five years annual growth rates in Hong Kong (+11%) and Singapore (+10%) have outstripped Switzerland’s (+3%). Offshore centres such as the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands declined over the same period.
At the same time, personal offshore wealth

Read More »

Swiss Unemployment Continues to Fall

June 16, 2018

The number of registered unemployed in Switzerland dropped by 9% in May 2018 to a rate of 2.4%, down from 2.7% in April, according to a report by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). The rate in May 2018 was 22% lower than in May 2017.
©-Sculpies-_-Dreamstime.com_ – Click to enlarge
Switzerland’s unemployment hasn’t been this low since 2008.
In March 2018, SECO changed the way it calculates unemployment and estimates this change reduced the rate of registered unemployment by 0.1%.
The lowest rates of registered unemployment were among 15-24 year olds (2.0%) and those 50 and over (2.4%). Among those aged 25-49 the rate was 2.6%.
As usual rates were above average in French- and Italian-speaking

Read More »

Switzerland’s parliament narrowly votes for women’s quotas on company boards

June 16, 2018

© Lovelyday12 | Dreamstime.com Yesterday, Switzerland’s National Council, or parliament, voted 95 to 94, with 3 abstentions, to introduce quotas for the management and boards of quoted companies. Boards will be required to have 30% women and management teams 20%. The rules could affect 250 companies. At the same time the quotas will not come …

Read More »

Switzerland’s parliament narrowly votes for women’s quotas on company boards

June 15, 2018

Yesterday, Switzerland’s National Council, or parliament, voted 95 to 94, with 3 abstentions, to introduce quotas for the management and boards of quoted companies.
© Lovelyday12 | Dreamstime.com
Boards will be required to have 30% women and management teams 20%. The rules could affect 250 companies.
At the same time the quotas will not come with sanctions. Companies would have to explain why the quotas had not been met and set out plans to meet them in the future.
Speaking to RTS, Simonetta Sommaruga, Switzerland’s minister of justice, said that while there are no sanctions, the move would force companies to explain themselves and bring much needed transparency.
As shown by the close parliamentary vote, quotas are controversial, partly because they don’t address the causes of inequality.

Read More »

Vaud Plans Tax Cuts

June 13, 2018

Last week, Vaud’s government announced a plan for future tax cuts.
©-Erix2005-_-Dreamstime.com_ – Click to enlarge
The residents of Vaud are among the highest taxed in Switzerland. In 2016, a single person in Lausanne earning CHF 100,000 paid CHF 16,050 in cantonal and communal tax on top of CHF 1,840 of federal tax. This was the fourth highest across all of Switzerland’s 26 cantonal capitals, and almost triple Zug, the lowest, where the figure was CHF 5,750 – see chart below.
Against this background, the news is likely to be well received by Vaud’s taxpayers.
The canton’s government has decided to make tax changes on top of those coming into effect on 1 January 2019.
On 21 March 2016, 87% of the canton’s voters

Read More »

Switzerland’s PostBus scandal – entire management team suspended

June 12, 2018

PostBus, the nation’s postal bus service, receives government aid based on its financial performance.
© Artzzz _ Dreamstime.com
With around 2,200 bright yellow buses operating on around 900 routes, it forms an important part of Switzerland’s transport network and employs around 4,000 people.
However, not long after the private PostBus company was created in 2006, it started manipulating its accounts. An independent investigation calculated that unjustified state subsidies paid to it from 2007 to 2015 could amount to as much as CHF 90 million, according to RTS.
PostBus is a subsidiary of Swiss Post.
Two days ago, Susanne Ruoff, Swiss Post’s CEO resigned. Today, the PostBus management team was suspended.
Doris Leuthard, Switzerland’s minister of transport, told the press that PostBus created

Read More »

Vaud plans tax cuts

June 12, 2018

Last week, Vaud’s government announced a plan for future tax cuts.
© Erix2005 | Dreamstime.com
The residents of Vaud are among the highest taxed in Switzerland. In 2016, a single person in Lausanne earning CHF 100,000 paid CHF 16,050 in cantonal and communal tax on top of CHF 1,840 of federal tax. This was the fourth highest across all of Switzerland’s 26 cantonal capitals, and almost triple Zug, the lowest, where the figure was CHF 5,750 – see chart below.

Against this background, the news is likely to be well received by Vaud’s taxpayers.
The canton’s government has decided to make tax changes on top of those coming into effect on 1 January 2019.
On 21 March 2016, 87% of the canton’s voters accepted a plan, known as RIE III, to cut company taxes, despite voters rejecting a related

Read More »