ZURICH, March 22 (Reuters) – Swiss exports fell across most
sectors in February, weighed down by the country’s strong franc,
with only a sharp rise in sales of watches staving off an
overall decline as demand for the country’s luxury goods stayed
Exports rose 1.2 percent year on year to 16.7 billion Swiss
francs ($18.3 billion), the Federal Customs Office said on
ZURICH, March 21 (Reuters) – Watchmaker Tag Heuer, squeezed
by a cut in supplies from Swiss rival Swatch, said on
Wednesday sourcing parts from Japanese peer Seiko will
not tarnish its prized “Swiss made” tag.
The move by Swatch, for decades the main supplier to the
Swiss industry, has sent watch companies scrambling to build
in-house production or form alliances with alternative makers of
movements, dials and cases.
ZURICH, March 20 (Reuters) – Swiss prosecutors have widened
a probe over the leaking of private bank information that helped
force the head of the Swiss National Bank Philipp Hildebrand to
resign, to include a right-wing politician instrumental in his
Police searched the house and office of former cabinet
minister Christoph Blocher on Tuesday, Zurich’s state
prosecutors said in a statement, on suspicion of violation of
the country’s strict bank secrecy laws.
ZURICH, March 8 (Reuters) – Switzerland’s DKSH, which
helps companies market and distribute goods in Asia, launched an
initial public offering that could raise 900 million Swiss
francs ($980 million) for its founding shareholders and make it
the first sizable European listing since mid-2011.
The Swiss firm, which lists the likes of Nestle, Roche and
GlaxoSmithKline among its clients, said it was offering its
shares at between 42 and 48 Swiss francs each, valuing the
company at between 2.6 billion and 3.0 billion francs.
ZURICH, March 1 (Reuters) – Top staffing group Adecco
warned of slowing jobs growth in parts of Europe,
after the Swiss company sweetened solid fourth-quarter results
with a hefty dividend hike.
“We see there is a slowdown, especially in western Europe.
We already saw the slowdown coming in Iberia and Italy in
the third quarter,” chief executive Patrick De Maeseneire told
Reuters in an interview on Thursday.
DUESSELDORF/ZURICH, Feb 29 (Reuters) – German builder Hochtief
(HOTG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) and Swiss cement maker Holcim (HOLN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) are banking on a growing
number of building projects in Asia to drive demand in 2012, after charges at
both companies hit earnings last year.
Infrastructure and residential construction projects in the Asia Pacific
region will buoy demand for building materials, said Holcim, which expects to
grow operating profit this year, excluding acquisitions.
ZURICH, Feb 29 (Reuters) – Holcim, the
world’s second-largest cement maker, said rising demand in Asia
and the Americas would lift profits this year, soothing
investors’ concerns as it posted a fourth-quarter loss and cut
its dividend by a third.
The Swiss group, which makes more than half of its sales in
emerging markets, also said on Wednesday it would strive to pass
on the higher cost of raw materials and transport to customers,
something which it has not managed to do in full so far.
“Clearly the expectation is we have reached a
trough in respect to the margin squeeze,” finance chief Thomas
Aebischer told a media conference, adding that operating margin
improved in the fourth quarter of 2011 for the first time since
GENEVA (Reuters) – Iran, facing growing international pressure over its nuclear program, called for more talks with the U.N. nuclear watchdog on Tuesday and condemned production of atomic weapons as a “great sin.”
Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful but negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have stalled and Western powers have grown increasingly concerned over the possible military dimensions of Tehran’s atomic work.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The top United Nations human rights forum will hold an urgent debate on Tuesday on the deteriorating situation in Syria after Russia said it had no formal objections but warned that any written record of the talks would be “counterproductive”.
Qatar marked the opening of the Human Rights Council’s annual four-week session on Monday by asking for an urgent debate on Syria, a request that was backed by most Arab League members, as well as the European Union and the United States.
BERNE, Feb 22 (Reuters) – Switzerland announced plans
on Wednesday to force its secretive banks to do more to make
sure foreign clients’ money is taxed in an attempt to shake off
its image as a haven for untaxed funds as it seeks to end a
damaging U.S. tax probe.
Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf told a news
conference the government would draw up requirements by
September to enhance due diligence requirements for banks when
accepting assets as well as introducing a demand for foreign
clients to declare they have .