Caroline's Feed
Feb 1, 2015

Right-wing firebrand shakes up cosy Swiss politics

MAENNEDORF, Switzerland, Feb 1 (Reuters) – As a child
growing up near the Swiss border with Germany in the early
1940s, Christoph Blocher remembers soldiers camping out in his
family’s garden, ready to defend the neutral nation against a
surprise attack from the Nazis.

The godfather of the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP),
which has unnerved investors with plans to cut immigration and
demote international law, says the experience instilled a fierce
desire to shield Switzerland from external influences.

Jan 28, 2015

Roche falls as dividend, earnings disappoint investors

ZURICH, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Roche offered investors
a lower-than-expected dividend payout on Wednesday and its
earnings fell short of forecasts, sending shares in the Swiss
drugmaker down more than two percent.

Sentiment towards the stock had already cooled towards the
end of last year after two late-stage clinical studies of drugs
for breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease failed.

Jan 27, 2015

Novartis flags faster sales and profit growth for 2015

ZURICH, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Swiss drugmaker Novartis
forecast sales and profits to grow at a faster pace
this year as recent drug successes and its portfolio overhaul
help it weather the impact of generic competition.

Excluding currency moves, the Basel-based firm on Tuesday
said it expected mid-single digit sales growth and core
operating income to increase at a high-single digit rate in

Jan 21, 2015

Lonza delays full-year forecast after Swiss franc surge

ZURICH, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Switzerland’s Lonza Group
held off giving a specific forecast for sales and
profit growth this year as it grapples with an unexpected surge
in the Swiss franc after the country’s central bank scrapped its
cap on the currency.

The speciality chemicals and life sciences group is hoping a
three-year restructuring programme that has included plant
closures, job cuts and divestments of low-margin businesses will
continue to bear fruit in 2015.

Jan 18, 2015

Swiss finance minister says economy will withstand loss of cap

ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss officials sought to reassure the country on Sunday that a shock decision by the central bank to scrap its cap on the franc would not destabilize the economy ahead of a crucial week in which the European Central Bank could announce a massive bond-buying program.

Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said she expects the exchange rate to settle down at around 1.10 per euro, a level she believes firms in the export-orientated country should be able to withstand.

Jan 16, 2015

After SNB shock, “Swiss Made” may mean more expensive

ZURICH, Jan 16 (Reuters) – “Swiss Made” has traditionally
stood for quality, precision and reliability. But after a shock
move to scrap the cap on the franc, it could convey a less
attractive message: Made more expensive.

The decision by the Swiss National Bank, after three years
of holding down the franc’s value, was met with indignation by
many small-to-mid size companies which now face lower revenue
from exports.

Jan 15, 2015

Who wants to buy a hotel? Swiss Alps in shock over franc’s rise

GENEVA/ZURICH, Jan 15 (Reuters) – The Swiss Alps already
looked pricey before the Swiss National Bank dropped its
currency bombshell on Thursday. Now Swiss tourism fears being
frozen out altogether.

As the central bank’s shock decision to scrap a cap on the
Swiss franc pushed the currency up nearly 30 percent, some
businesses were already reporting cancellations as visitors
rushed to rearrange their plans for the busy winter season.

Jan 12, 2015

J&J strikes Alzheimer’s research deal with Swiss firm AC Immune

LONDON/ZURICH (Reuters) – Johnson & Johnson boosted its research efforts into battling Alzheimer’s on Monday, striking a deal potentially worth more than $500 million to develop anti-tau vaccines with Swiss biotech firm AC Immune.

Tau is a protein known for forming twisted fibers inside brain cells and is linked to cell death. It is one of two abnormal proteins tied to the memory-robbing disease. The other is beta amyloid.

Dec 18, 2014

Swiss central bank announces negative interest rates to stem flight into franc

ZURICH, Dec 18 (Reuters) – Switzerland’s central bank said
it would start charging banks for deposits in francs for the
first time since the 1970s, hoping to stem a flight to the
safe-haven currency driven by concern over the euro zone and
Russia’s deepening crisis.

In a surprise statement on Thursday, the Swiss National Bank
(SNB) announced it would impose an interest rate of -0.25
percent on the portion of so-called “sight deposits” – cash
commercial banks and other financial institutions hold with the
central bank – above a certain threshold.

Dec 18, 2014

SNB imposes negative interest rates to stem flight into franc

ZURICH, Dec 18 (Reuters) – The Swiss National Bank announced
a negative interest rate for the first time since the 1970s on
Thursday, hoping that by forcing banks to pay to deposit francs
it can stem a flight to the safe-haven currency sparked by euro
zone fears and crisis in Russia.

In a surprise statement, the SNB said it would impose an
interest rate of -0.25 percent on more than 10 million Swiss
francs in commercial bank deposits from Jan. 22, when the
European Central Bank holds its next meeting.