Catherine's Feed
Dec 15, 2011

SNB sticks to franc cap, threatens further steps

BERNE, Dec 15 (Reuters) – The Swiss National Bank held
its cap on the franc at 1.20 per euro on Thursday, knocking back
speculation it would move to weaken the currency further,
although it said it could take further action at any time if
risks to the economy mount.

The bank forecast modest growth for next year and only
slightly falling prices – leaving analysts divided over whether
a rise in the franc cap was likely early in 2012.

Dec 15, 2011

SNB to strike downbeat note, leave cap at policy review

ZURICH (Reuters) – The Swiss National Bank will strike a cautious note and keep interest rates at zero on Thursday, as signs of a slowdown mount and the euro zone debt crisis churns on, yet it is not expected to announce a shift of its franc cap of 1.20 per euro.

The SNB, which capped the franc on September 6 after it rose nearly 20 percent in just a few months, will announce the outcome of a regular policy review along with growth and inflation forecasts at 8:30 a.m. British time. That will be followed by a news conference with Chairman Philipp Hildebrand and his two deputies.

Dec 12, 2011

Negative rates may be Swiss sabre rattling on franc

ZURICH (Reuters) – The Swiss government’s willingness to consider imposing negative interest rates on foreign bank deposits is more likely aimed at talking down the value of the safe-haven Swiss franc than a signal it is about to act.

The franc had soared as investors sought an escape from the euro zone debt crisis until the central bank moved to cap the currency at 1.20 per euro on September 6.

Dec 12, 2011

Swiss Life shareholder sells $70 mln stake

ZURICH, Dec 12 (Reuters) – Swiss Life
shareholder Carsten Maschmeyer has sold part of his stake to
private investors for 64.8 million Swiss francs ($70.2 million),
stock exchange data showed, after he said last week he planned
to cut his ownership and leave the group’s board.

The sale of 700,000 shares took place on Dec. 7, data from
Swiss bourse operator SIX showed on Monday.

Dec 6, 2011

Swiss Re expects Thai flood claims of $600 mln

ZURICH, Dec 6 (Reuters) – Reinsurer Swiss Re
estimates the cost of claims from floods in Thailand
at $600 million, it said on Tuesday, adding to an already high
disaster tally for the year after severe rains damaged
industrial sites and disrupted production.

Insurers have been bracing for claims from floods in
Thailand, which hit suppliers to companies like Toyota
, adding to an already stiff disaster bill for this year
that includes the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Dec 1, 2011

ZFS warns on economy, signals good dividend

ZURICH, Dec 1 (Reuters) – Zurich Financial Services AG
warned dour economic prospects might make a key profit
goal hard to meet, although it indicated another juicy dividend
might be on the cards again this year.

How high a dividend the Swiss insurer will set is a matter
of keen interest to investors because its payouts are among the
best on the blue-chip SMI. Zurich last paid a dividend
of 17 Swiss francs.

Nov 29, 2011

Tax deals to cost Swiss banks $51 bln of assets-study

ZURICH, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Up to 47 billion Swiss
francs ($51 billion) could leave Swiss bank accounts after tax
deals with Germany and Britain to crack down on hidden funds, a
study released on Tuesday said.

Strict secrecy has helped Switzerland build up a $2 trillion
offshore financial sector. But the country has faced an
international campaign in recent years against tax evasion as
governments with big budget deficits seek to boost revenues.

Nov 15, 2011

Swiss Life premiums fall on weaker business from wealthy

ZURICH, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Swiss Life’s
premium income fell 18 percent in the first nine months of 2011,
hurt by weaker sales of tax-efficient insurance policies to
wealthy clients.

The products, known as insurance wrappers, are life
insurance policies into which the very wealthy place stocks,
private equity holdings and other bankable assets, allowing them
to lower their tax rate.

Nov 9, 2011

Pressure mounts on SNB to move franc cap

LUCERNE, Switzerland (Reuters) – Political pressure is mounting on the Swiss National Bank to take steps to further weaken the franc, potentially shifting its cap on the currency towards 1.30 per euro, as the economy slows and deflation threatens.

The SNB shocked markets when it capped the franc at 1.20 per euro on September 6 after the currency soared almost to parity with the euro as investors sought a safe haven from the mounting euro zone debt crisis and slowing global economy.

Nov 8, 2011

Analysis: Pressure mounts on SNB to move franc cap

LUCERNE, Switzerland (Reuters) – Political pressure is mounting on the Swiss National Bank to take steps to further weaken the franc, potentially shifting its cap on the currency toward 1.30 per euro, as the economy slows and deflation threatens.

The SNB shocked markets when it capped the franc at 1.20 per euro on September 6 after the currency soared almost to parity with the euro as investors sought a safe haven from the mounting euro zone debt crisis and slowing global economy.