Lars Kalbreier, CIO at Vontobel Wealth Management, expects the measures taken by Beijing will give a boost to its slowing economy. But he also warns that China cannot decouple from the rest of the world.
In a special debate on the future of work, Jan Mischke, partner at McKinsey Global Institute, focuses on the financial services industry, which is a key industry for Switzerland. In his view, the industry has been slow in digitizing its business models despite infrastructure investments to this end.
Switzerland may need to open its doors to more immigrants to meet future demand for digital skills, says Jan Mischke, partner at McKinsey Global Institute. He spoke during a debate on the future of work with Katrina Kostic Samen, president of the British Council of Offices.
Marketers have coined the term HENRY—which stands for “high earners, not rich yet”—to describe the next generation of luxury consumers. Karine Szegedi, partner at Deloitte Switzerland, told us more about what makes a HENRY.
Swiss watch exports to Hong Kong fell 26.8% in June, another sign the Hong Kong protests are taking their toll on the luxury sector. Mariana Kou, Head of Hong Kong Consumer Research at CLSA, says she expects July and August to be “quite challenging” for export figures.
Companies are hiring, factory output is rising, and consumers are spending. The U.S. economy looks less and less like its headed for a recession. So then why is the Federal Reserve still likely to cut rates later this month? For political leverage, says billionaire investor Ken Fisher.
Investors are flocking to Swiss stocks and the SMI is on quite a run. Peter Rosenstreich, head of market strategy at Swissquote, sees this as part of a global trend with central banks taking a dovish stance. “The search for yield is on,” he says, “and Switzerland is a great place to park capital.”
Head of Swiss equities at Kepler Cheuvreux Jon Cox sees challenges ahead for Swatch Group in the second half of 2019 as competitors are offering more smart watches and a wider variety online. However, in Cox’s view, Swiss watch exports overall could pick up in the next months despite the protests in Hong Kong having an impact on luxury sales.
Divesting out of companies with ties to energy-intensive projects is not a panacea to climate change issues, UBS’s corporate responsibility management boss Christian Leitz says. His comments come after climate change activists staged a protest outside of UBS and Credit Suisse’s offices last week calling for the banks to stop financing companies involved in fossil fuel projects. Leitz adds: “It’s not that we can just jump out of certain sources of energy from today to tomorrow. There needs to be a clear transition.”
Crypto finance firm Bitcoin Suisse announced today that it has applied for a banking license. Chairman Niklas Nikolajsen says it would be “very surprising” and a “big blow” if they do not get the green light from FINMA. A license would allow the Zug company to hold deposits and deal with security tokens more effectively.
Personal wealth in Switzerland will likely grow by 3 percent this year on average, says Anna Zakrzewski, managing director of Boston Consulting Group. That assumes markets don’t take a nosedive as they did at the end of 2018 when a big chunk of the world’s wealth was wiped out in a few weeks.
Eugen Perger, senior analyst at Research Partners, sees strong tailwinds for Swiss power producers like BKW, Romande Energie, and Alpiq. In his view, larger producers should be profitable at current price levels, and considering that unfavorable hedging deals will expire next year, he says better results can be expected.
The Chief Digital Officer (CDO) is one of the newer titles in the C-Suite—and one of the least understood. Christian Wohlgensinger of management consultancy Egon Zehnder explains why a global survey of CDOs found that transforming companies was much more difficult than they expected.
According to Anja Graf, CEO and founder of Visionapartments, local knowledge is key for growing in a profitable way in real estate. This is one reason she does not see herself expanding to Asia despite strong growth signals in that region.
About 90 percent of Swiss SMEs don’t have a website adapted to mobile use and search engines, says Stefano Santinelli, CEO of Swisscom-owned localsearch, still best known by some as publisher of the big, bulky telephone book. Today, the company’s main source of revenue is helping these same small businesses build a savvier online presence, including access to e-commerce giants such as Amazon.