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Tag Archives: Business & Economy

Fury at UBS ending government guarantee for Credit Suisse deal

On 11 August 2023, UBS announced it had ended the contract it had with Switzerland’s federal government that guaranteed CHF 9 billion of potential losses. The contract also required the Swiss National Bank (SNB) to provide liquidity assistance loans of up to CHF 100 billion. All loans from the SNB have now been repaid. © Simon Zenger | Dreamstime.comThe ending of the contract means Swiss taxpayers are no longer on the hook for any potential losses associated with the rushed merger of...

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Swiss fact: VELCRO® fasteners, popularised by NASA, were invented in Switzerland

In 1941, George de Mestral, while hunting in the Jura, with his son and dogs, noticed how the plant burdock stuck with microscopic hooks to his trousers and to the ears of one of his dogs. Fifteen years later the strong-willed Vaud handy man had turned his observation into something that would become a household name. Wild burdock_© Olga Budonna | Dreamstime.com He carried his hunting trip observation around in his head for ten years before realizing it could be used as an alternative to a...

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Strong opposition to any toll for Gotthard tunnel

The government of the canton of Ticino is strongly opposed to tolls for the Gotthard road tunnel, reported RTS this week. Gotthard Tunnel © Stefano Ember | Dreamstime.comThe idea of charging a toll for the highly congested Gotthard tunnel linking Ticino, which lies south of the Alps, to the rest of Switzerland, has been discussed for some time. In a public poll run at the end of June 2023, 69% of those surveyed said they believed a toll was needed, compared to 28% who were opposed to...

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Swiss Post announces higher prices

This week, Swiss Post announced it would increase the cost of sending letters and parcels from the beginning of 2024. © Swiss PostAt the beginning of 2024, nearly everything is set to rise in price as the Swiss VAT rate jumps from 7.7% to 8%. In addition, more and more companies are joining the party, pushing up their prices. From the beginning of 2024, A and B class letters will cost 10 cents more to post, and parcels will cost a further CHF 1.50. These costs will find their way into...

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Swiss government approves blow out budget for 2024

On 28 June 2023, Switzerland’s Federal Council approved a budget for 2024 with a deficit of CHF 6.7 billion. © Guenter Purin | Dreamstime.comSwitzerland’s constitution includes a section designed to constrain spending to prevent the government from living beyond its means. The debt brake, as it is known, allows a limited degree of annual overspending that is expected to be covered by future surpluses. However, there is a wrinkle. The debt brake refers to ordinary expenditure, which...

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Swiss government set to approve more favourable tax treatment for companies

On 28 June 2023, parliament agreed to extend the loss offsetting period for Swiss companies. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.comIn Switzerland, any losses made by companies can be offset against future profits for a limited period of time. Currently, the period is seven years. This week parliament agreed to extend this period to 10 years. Any losses generated in 2020 or later would qualify under the new 10-year carry forward rule. The change will help companies that suffered losses during...

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Swiss government agrees to help mothers hoping to work more

In Switzerland, mothers are far more likely to have paid work than they were 30 years ago. In 2021, 82% had paid employment compared to 60% in 1991. Over this period, Switzerland has moved from one of the lowest European rates of working mums to one of the highest. Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.comHowever, a sizeable employment gap remains between women with children (82%) and women without them (93%). In addition, few fathers have given up working to make way for mothers to work...

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Swiss central bank puts interest rate up this week

In November 2019 before the pandemic hit Switzerland, Thomas Jordan, the head of Switzerland’s central bank was warning that the bank might need to take interest rates below the unusually low -0.75% rate that prevailed at the time. Since then the rate has risen by 2.5% after a 0.25 percentage point rise announced on 22 June 2023. Thomas Jordan, Chairman of the board of the SNBThe SNB has now hiked rates from a low of -0.75% in June 2022 to 1.75% today, a total rise of 2.50% in 12 months...

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Swiss building costs continue sharp rise

Between October 2020 and April 2023, Swiss building construction costs rose by 13.9%. On an annualised basis the cost of building has been rising at a rate of 4.3% over this period, a rate higher than general inflation – the consumer price index rose 2.6% over the year to the end of April 2023. Photo by Yury Kim on Pexels.comBuilding costs rose 1% during the month of April 2023, compared to a general consumer price index rise of 0.2%. The worst affected regions were north west...

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Latest inflation forecast points to Swiss rate rise

The latest Swiss inflation forecast published this week by SECO points to a further rise in interest rates later this month. © Cameracraft8 | Dreamstime.comAlthough the expert group on business cycles continues to expect significantly below-average growth for the Swiss economy, with a rate of 1.1% in 2023, followed by 1.5% in 2024, its forecast inflation of 2.3% in 2023, is higher than the central bank’s target this year, pointing to an interest rate rise on 22 June 2023 when the Swiss...

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