The Swiss National Bank is a “prisoner” of the European Central Bank, says Rudolf Minsch, chief economist of economiesuisse. If the ECB delivers a deep-enough rate cut on Thursday, he adds, the SNB will have to follow suit—but there is a little wiggle room.
By distancing itself from EU rules, the UK risks weakening its access to the single market, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warned in her keynote address in Davos today. Markus Will, senior economist at the University of St. Gallen, says the statement sent a clear message to Switzerland as well.
Your latest highlights from #WEF20 and beyond: key messages from Ursula von der Leyen; Donald Trump comments on trade; the fashion industry’s heavy carbon footprint; the latest on the coronavirus; and a look at Swiss and global markets.
Your latest highlights from #WEF2020 and beyond: A recap of President Trump’s and climate activist Greta Thunberg’s speeches; investors rush to safe havens; UBS and Lonza earnings; central banks on digital currencies.
Banks are increasingly under fire from climate activists for funding fossil fuel projects. David Livingstone, Citigroup’s CEO in the EMEA region, says lenders have an important role to play in financing the transition to a broader base of energy sources.
Swiss medtech company Ascom is overhauling its corporate structure and taking other steps to revive its fortunes after revenue slumped last year. Reto Huber, senior research analyst at Research Partners, welcomes the latest turnaround efforts, which he says will help put responsibility back into the hands of the company’s regional managers and restore its focus on customers.
Discussions on how to regulate the crypto industry without stifling innovation dominated this week’s Crypto Finance Conference, where the speakers included U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissioner Hester Peirce. “If you don’t define the regulation for this space, not a lot is going to happen,” said Nicolo Stöhr, CEO of the event in St. Moritz.
Part of the initial agreement struck between the U.S. and China was “in clear violation” of WTO rules, which state that two parties cannot do an agricultural deal without inviting other parties to the table, claims Steen Jakobsen, chief economist and CIO of Saxo Bank, in what he says is part of an inevitable move toward two separate global platforms.
Europe is lagging behind the U.S. and China in creating major global technology-driven companies, says Fabian Hediger, co-founder and CEO of Worldwebforum, taking place this week and at which CNNMoney Switzerland is a media partner. He argues that the right leadership, one of the key themes of the forum, is key in helping companies harness the technological changes in their industry.
The U.S. this week put Switzerland back on its watch list of currency manipulators less than a year after removing it. The move will make it harder for the SNB to intervene in markets to keep the franc in check, says Samy Chaar, chief economist at Lombard Odier. “That obviously creates more pressure for the Swiss National Bank in an environment where they already have pressure.”
New EU rules around sustainability, fintech, and data protection are throwing up fresh regulatory challenges for Switzerland as it looks to align itself with standards set by its biggest trading partner. Guenther Dobrauz, partner and leader of PwC Legal Switzerland, says the country will continue to do things its own way and in its own time.
Five years ago, the Swiss National Bank stunned markets when it abruptly abandoned its cap on the franc. Peter Romanzina, head of brokerage at Vontobel Investment Banking, discusses how Swiss exporters have coped with a stronger currency since that tumultuous event.