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.
Ahead of the IMF meeting in Washington D.C. and the Brexit vote in the UK, Simon Evenett of the University of St. Gallen talks about the future of multilateral agreements and globalization in general. In his view, the large economies are moving in a “free for all” direction where countries won’t respect the rules and will grab as much market share of the world market as they can. “I think it is the wrong way to go,” says Evenett.
The shift from analog to digital is leaving Swiss watchmakers behind amid growing demand for watches that do much more than tell time. Apple has grabbed about 50 percent of the smartwatch market in just five years and will probably sell more watches this year than the entire Swiss industry, says Alexander Linz, head of content at WatchAdvisor.com.
In recent months, there has been a backlash against robo-advising. But Adriano Lucatelli, co-founder and CEO of Descartes Finance, sees the current negative-interest-rate environment as being advantageous to robo-advisers since saving costs is crucial for consumers.
Smile, the direct insurance arm of Helvetia, says it benchmarks itself against tech companies like Netflix, as it looks to shake-up the industry with its monthly subscription model and mobile-first approach. CEO Pierangelo Campopiano is targeting premium volumes of CHF 100 million in the next year.
The Swiss franc is still trading at roughly the same level against the euro as a month ago, when the Swiss National Bank refrained from cutting rates. “That’s a surprise,” says Karsten Junius, chief economist of Bank J. Safra Sarasin, adding that it shows the Swiss economy didn’t need another round of easing.
The latest grounding of the Swiss A220 fleet over engine concerns has impacted 100 flights and roughly 10,000 passengers. It’s the third incident for this aircraft since July. CNNMoney Switzerland’s Olivia Chang reports on the latest details.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.