Why going international makes sense for a proptech start-up Why going international makes sense for a proptech start-up Why going international makes sense for a proptech start-up
PriceHubble is a Swiss proptech start-up with locations in France, Germany, and Tokyo. It is now tapping into the Chinese market with the help of Chinese insurance company Ping An. Founder Stefan Heitmann tells us why their strategy was to expand abroad quickly. The start-up is nominated for the Swiss Economic Award this week.
Hannah Wise
Why the IMF may need to cut its growth forecasts even more
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday cut its growth forecast for the global economy to 3 percent this year and 3.4 percent in 2020. Patrice Gautry, chief economist at UBP, says the outlook for next year is still “very, very ambitious,” even assuming an imminent pickup in global trade.
Hannah Wise
Swiss property market facing “systemic problem,” says Bestag
The key to a successful property sale is transparency, says Patrice Choffat, whose proptech start-up Bestag matches home sellers with property brokers. He warns that systemic problems in the Swiss property transaction market is costing sellers.
Olivia Chang
AMS says battle for Osram isn’t over yet
Armed with a 20 percent stake, AMS is refusing to admit defeat after its takeover offer for Osram fell through last week. Reto Huber, senior analyst at Research Partners, predicts the Swiss-listed sensor maker will ultimately succeed in its quest for control of the German lighting group.
Olivia Chang
Where Citi stands on the Libra project
The Libra Association is meeting in Geneva to review a charter and appoint a board of directors. But with big backers like Mastercard, Visa, PayPal and eBay abandoning the project, the question now is how big banks are approaching the digital currency. Citi's Chief Innovation Officer Vanessa Colella is taking a cautious approach: “As banks we are custodians of a safe and sound financial system.” In her view, Citi is not “jumping on” in any sense, because what the company needs to do should be both forward-looking and prudent.
Hannah Wise
Repaying public debt “a waste,” create sovereign fund instead, says report
Paying back public debt in a low interest rate environment is inefficient, says Cédric Tille, economics professor at The Graduate Institute Geneva. In a new research report, he argues that Switzerland could run a deficit and finance a sovereign wealth fund instead. “We have an asset ‘the brand of Switzerland’: Why not use it,” he says.
Hannah Wise
Market rally shows global economy growth trumps geopolitics, says energy expert
Hopes of a breakthrough in U.S.-China trade talks propelled stock markets higher by the close of European trading on Friday, with investors dumping safer assets like government bonds. Coinciding with a missile attack on an Iranian tanker, the rally shows that concern about the global economy continues to trump geopolitics, says economist and energy expert Cornelia Meyer.
Hannah Wise
Is there a fair compensation system for managers?
According to a new report published by the Swiss Institute of Directors, the pharma giant Novartis and industrial group Georg Fischer were cited as the best examples of fair compensation systems among large Swiss companies. Philippe Waty, group head compensation and benefits at Novartis, and Eveline Saupper, president of Georg Fischer’s compensation committee, explain why they have adapted their renumeration systems.
Hannah Wise
Braving China’s social media mavens
The Dolce & Gabbana marketing disaster last year drew attention to one of the biggest challenges of doing business in China, where social media mavens are quick to call out brands for ads deemed offensive. “You have to understand the local market, and you have to be sensitive toward the culture,’’ says Tom Hanan, founder and CEO of Webrepublic, a Zurich-based digital marketing agency that helps Western brands reach consumers on Tencent’s WeChat.
Hannah Wise
Economic growth: quantity vs quality
The new head of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, says the U.S.-China trade war could cost the global economy around $700 billion by 2020—a loss equivalent to the size of the Swiss economy. Eleanor Taylor Jolidon, co-head of Swiss and global equity at UBP, questions the need for growth at a high level, saying the world should start thinking about the quality of expansion.
Hannah Wise
SNB takes first steps toward digital central bank money
The SNB has long been wary in its approach to digital assets. But now the national bank is teaming up with the Swiss SIX Exchange to explore a digital central bank money that could be used to settle trades of tokenized assets. Martin Liebi, director at PwC, welcomes the move, saying it would further cement the country’s status as a crypto nation.
Hannah Wise
Swiss rank last in WEF report when it comes to tariffs
The World Economic Forum just released its annual global competitiveness index, and Switzerland has dropped down one place to fifth in the report. But the WEF’s Saadia Zahidi says what’s really holding the country back is that its tariff regime is far too complex, placing it last in that category.
Hannah Wise
Haunted by last year’s rout investors play it safe this October
Investors are reducing risk as the year draws to a close, migrating from equities into debt markets, and shifting from volatile tech stocks into more stable sectors such as utilities, says Alastair McCaig, director of Fern Wealth. October 2018 was a horrible month for stocks and “so far this month hasn’t proven to be any better,” he says.
Hannah Wise
Sunrise CEO: “I don’t have a plan B”
Sunrise is locked in a feud with its largest investor, Germany’s Freenet, which opposes the takeover of Liberty Global’s UPC business for CHF 6.3 billion. In an extraordinary meeting on Oct. 23, shareholders will vote on a capital increase needed to fund the takeover. For Sunrise CEO Olaf Swantee, this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance. “We will not have another possibility to drive consolidation in the Swiss market,” he says. He does, however, see potential job losses in management, administration, and back-office.
Greta Ruffino
Meat alternatives: a sizzling business
Alternative meat is all the rage at the moment with Barclays recently estimating that the sector could reach USD 140 billion worldwide in the next decade. And now Nestlé has just launched its own plant-based burger in Switzerland. So what does the future of alternative meat start-ups look like now?

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