The Swiss franc has appreciated to its highest level against the euro so far this year, as safe-haven flows channeled into the currency amid rising political and economic risks in Europe. But how much higher will it go? Martin Eichler, chief economist of BAK Economics, says he doesn't expect the currency's value to strengthen much more. "It’s related to the Turkish crisis, and if this does not get any more serious then the franc should not appreciate further against the euro."
The Swiss National Bank’s first quarter results showed that all was quiet on the monetary policy front, with a weaker franc suggesting less intervention was needed. However, any further wider global economic tremors could throw that in jeopardy, argues Brian Blackstone, the Switzerland bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal.
Nicolas Bürki, analyst and portfolio manager at Mirabaud AM, says UBS is making a very opportunistic move by announcing a share buyback plan. Considering the amount to be spent only represents 2 percent of the current market cap, he sees it, at best, as a “good signal.” But, Bürki adds, the impact will be “marginal” on the share price.
Switzerland still leads the way when it comes to sustainable finance and is well-positioned to take advantage of a growing appetite for innovation in this field, according to Alessia Falsarone, head of sustainable investing at PineBridge.
Antoine Hubert, CEO of Aevis Victoria, is a strong believer in digitization in the healthcare sector, though in his view, the changes have not been as radical as in other sectors. It will take some 15 years, he says, before robots could really replace surgeons.
As Swiss President Ueli Maurer prepares to join other foreign leaders at China’s Belt and Road Summit, Alastair McCaig, head of investment management at Fern Wealth, discusses how Switzerland is going for first-mover advantage, adding that the EU will have to be more flexible as the initiative gathers momentum.
Swiss peptide manufacturer Bachem plans to raise up to CHF 48 million to fund its expansion and maintain its 6-10 percent annual growth rate. Chief Executive Thomas Früh says that the Chinese market is a priority for his firm in the future but a difficult country for small companies to crack.
Vincent Chetail of the Geneva-based Global Migration Centre says refugees could potentially provide an economic windfall for Switzerland but only if they have equal access to the labor market. He talks about how refugee start-up incubators and entrepreneurship can give a helping hand.
Swiss President Ueli Maurer will pay a visit to China starting Monday, accompanied by a delegation of bankers and businesspeople from companies including Novartis and Holcim. Cornelia Meyer, economist and energy expert, discusses what will be on the agenda and what the implications will be for Switzerland.
The departure of ABB's chief executive Ulrich Spiesshofer took the market by surprise on Wednesday. But now is a good time for a new leader with a different set of skills, says Redburn's James Moore. He adds that it could spell the beginning of a further break-up of the company in the future.
Esports may be the next big thing in sports sponsoring. Global revenues could hit $1.1 billion in 2019. Carlos Mejia, CIO at Rothschild & Co Wealth Management, assesses the ways that investors could participate in this bonanza.
Historical monuments as valuable as the Notre Dame cathedral are too big to insure. However, insurers can advise governments on how to prevent disasters, says Jad Ariss, secretary general of insurance thinktank The Geneva Association. He also says insurance firms should look at using catastrophe bonds to cover national landmarks.