Caroline's Feed
Jun 12, 2014

Swiss government mulls measures to cool housing market

ZURICH (Reuters) – The Swiss government is weighing new measures to cool demand in the housing market out of fear that Switzerland’s high levels of household debt could provoke a real estate crash if the economy went into recession, a senior finance official told Reuters.

The International Monetary Fund has sounded alarm bells about escalating house prices around the world and last month urged Switzerland to implement more aggressive policies to dampen demand for mortgages.

Jun 2, 2014

Roche returns to antibiotic research as superbug threat grows

ZURICH (Reuters) – Roche is betting the same tools that made it the world’s largest producer of cancer drugs will help it tackle the growing public health crisis of antibiotic resistance as regulators and politicians encourage fresh research.

The Swiss drugmaker used its expertise in in vitro diagnostic tests to develop highly-targeted cancer medicines. Now it believes it can use those same skills to find out quickly which bugs cause which infections, and help doctors kill them.

May 22, 2014

China anti-graft watchdog visits Roche amid pharma crackdown

SHANGHAI/ZURICH, May 22 (Reuters) – Swiss drugmaker Roche
Holding AG said it had been visited by a unit of
China’s anti-trust regulator – a move that comes amid a widening
crackdown on corruption and high prices in the country’s
pharmaceutical sector.

However, it was not immediately clear what was behind the

Roche said its offices in the eastern city of Hangzhou had
been visited by a unit of the State Administration for Industry
and Commerce (SAIC). The SAIC usually takes the lead in cases of
bribery and corruption.

May 18, 2014

Swiss voters reject world’s highest minimum wage, block fighter jets

ZURICH, May 18 (Reuters) – Swiss voters on Sunday rejected
proposals to introduce the world’s highest minimum wage and
spend $3.5 billion buying new Gripen fighter jets from Saab

About 76 percent of voters in the wealthy nation dismissed
the proposal made by Swiss union SGB and backed by the Socialist
and Green parties for a minimum wage of 22 Swiss francs ($25)
per hour, final results showed.

May 13, 2014

Gene Signal in talks for a partner for eye disease drug

ZURICH, May 13 (Reuters) – Gene Signal is in talks with
potential partners to help develop its new treatment for a
leading cause of blindness in the elderly, the biotech firm’s
chief executive said on Tuesday.

Privately-held Gene Signal is looking to muscle in on the
lucrative market for treating wet age-related macular
degeneration (AMD) currently dominated by Roche’s
Lucentis and Regeneron’s Eylea.

May 7, 2014

Falling prices take shine off big reinsurers’ profits

ZURICH/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Swiss Re (SRENH.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Hannover Re (HNRGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s no. 2 and 3 reinsurers, said they saw lower prices in natural disaster reinsurance and April renewals, as they beat profit expectations in the first quarter.

Fewer serious natural disasters, as well as competition from pension funds pouring money into the reinsurance industry, have crimped the pricing power of reinsurers, which help primary insurers cover the cost of major damage claims in return for part of the premiums.

Apr 30, 2014

Straumann sales rise as pricing strategy takes hold

ZURICH, April 30 (Reuters) – Straumann Holding AG,
the world’s largest maker of dental implants, posted a 2.9
percent rise in sales in the first quarter as it started to reap
the benefit of a new pricing strategy.

The premium dental implant market has shown tentative signs
of a turnaround in recent quarters, after the financial crisis
made consumers in developed countries postpone or scrap
non-urgent treatment and trade down to cheaper brands.

Apr 29, 2014

Moody’s predicts further wave of healthcare deals

ZURICH, April 29 (Reuters) – The deal-making frenzy sweeping
through the healthcare industry should continue apace in 2014,
as companies look to stock up new drug pipelines, bolster
existing businesses and diversify into new areas, Moody’s
Investors Service said on Tuesday.

Deals totalling more than $153 billion have been struck in
the sector so far this year, the highest year-to-date level
since Thomson Reuters began tracking such data.

Apr 29, 2014

ABB to overhaul power systems unit as profit falls

ZURICH, April 29 (Reuters) – Swiss engineering group ABB
said it would again overhaul its struggling power
systems unit after posting an unexpected fall in first-quarter
profit because of its weak orders and charges related to wind
and solar power projects.

The Zurich-based firm has been working for more than a year
to try to turn around its least profitable division, which has
incurred heavy costs for delays to offshore wind projects and
faced tough price competition in Asia.

Apr 29, 2014

ABB to overhaul power systems unit again as division hits profit

ZURICH, April 29 (Reuters) – Swiss engineering group ABB
said it would embark on further restructuring of its
power systems division after weak orders for the unit and
charges related to wind and solar power projects led to an
unexpected fall in first-quarter profit.

It will now halt bids for new turnkey solar power generation
projects, reassess its business model for offshore wind power
connections and implement further management changes. These come
on top of previous measures in late 2012 to be more selective
about projects.