Catherine's Feed
Aug 11, 2011

Zurich Fin leads EU stocks recovery on div pledge

ZURICH, Aug 11 (Reuters) – Zurich Financial Services
(ZURN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) sent its shares to the top of the gainers list among
recovering blue chip European stocks on Thursday by saying it
will maintain its “attractive and sustainable” dividend policy.

The pledge came as the insurer, also one of the major
institutional investors facing damage to portfolios from the
market downturn of recent weeks, revealed second-quarter profit
hit by catastrophes but ahead of expectations.

Aug 10, 2011

Swiss, Germans agree tax deal on secret accounts

ZURICH/BERLIN, Aug 10 (Reuters) – Switzerland and Germany
have agreed to tax money stashed by German citizens in secret
Swiss accounts, in a deal that will water down Swiss bank
secrecy laws but allow the country’s lenders to maintain client
confidentiality.

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
cash-strapped governments seek to boost revenues.

Aug 8, 2011

Scenarios: Swiss left with few options to fight record franc

ZURICH (Reuters) – A shock cut in interest rates to near zero last week failed to halt gains in the Swiss franc and the Swiss National Bank now has to decide on what further steps it could take and whether to embark on costly intervention to ease the currency’s appeal.

The 3-month franc LIBOR — the market rate the SNB targets — is at its lowest since June 2010, but the franc is seen as one of few safe havens for cash against renewed market turmoil and has hit fresh records against the euro and dollar.

Aug 4, 2011

Swiss Re CFO says euro zone a bigger risk than U.S.

ZURICH, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Swiss Re’s finance chief is
reasonably optimistic for the global economy even though risks
to the recovery have risen of late, with the euro zone debt
crisis more of a headache than the U.S. budget troubles.

With signs of growth slowing and financial markets in
turmoil, global central banks have kept policy loose. Yet unlike
in 2008-2009 there is less room to ease policy further, should
the situation worsen, leaving some concerned.

Aug 4, 2011

SNB intervention threat unlikely to turn tide

ZURICH (Reuters) – The Swiss National Bank signalled on Wednesday it is ready to act to weaken the red-hot Swiss franc despite big losses it sustained in earlier interventions, but it risks failing again given huge safe haven flows.

In a surprise move, the SNB cut rates to zero and said it will boost liquidity to fight a “massively overvalued” franc that has soured the outlook for the economy and increased the risk of deflation. It also said it might take further measures, a sign it could attempt new interventions.

Jul 31, 2011

Swiss, Germans to sign tax deal on August 10 – reports

ZURICH/BERLIN (Reuters) – Switzerland and Germany will sign a deal to regularise untaxed money stashed in secret Swiss bank accounts on August 10, media in the two countries reported on Sunday.

Strict banking secrecy, which helped Switzerland build a multi-trillion dollar offshore banking industry, has come under heavy fire and strained relations between Switzerland and other countries seeking to hunt tax cheats.

Jul 31, 2011

Swiss, Germans to sign tax deal on Aug. 10 – media

ZURICH/BERLIN, July 31 (Reuters) – Switzerland and Germany
will sign a deal to regularise untaxed money stashed in secret
Swiss bank accounts on Aug. 10, media in the two countries
reported on Sunday.

Strict banking secrecy, which helped Switzerland build a
multi-trillion dollar offshore banking industry, has come under
heavy fire and strained relations between Switzerland and other
countries seeking to hunt tax cheats.

Jul 29, 2011

Soaring franc pushes Swiss National Bank into red

July 29 (Reuters) – * SNB posts H1 consolidated loss of
10.8 bln francs

* SNB records H1 loss of 9.9 bln franc on forex holdings

(Adds details, background)

By Catherine Bosley

ZURICH, July 29 (Reuters) – The Swiss National Bank suffered
a 9.9 billion franc loss on its foreign exchange holdings for
the first half of the year due to the surging franc, increasing
chances of criticism if it chooses to intervene.

Jul 28, 2011

Logitech CEO resigns as European sales tumble

ZURICH, July 28 (Reuters) – The chief executive of Logitech
resigned on Thursday after weak trading in Europe
pushed the world’s biggest computer mouse maker to a quarterly
loss and prompted a cut in its sales outlook.

Logitech said CEO Gerald Quindlen has been replaced by
chairman Guerrino De Luca, who headed the company from
1998-2008, until a permanent candidate is found.

Jul 28, 2011

Forecast-busting Swatch upbeat despite strong franc

ZURICH, June 28 (Reuters) – Swatch Group , the
world’s largest watchmaker, is aiming to win more market share
after red-hot demand for its timepieces in the first six months
of the year in spite of a rocketing Swiss franc.

The group, best known for its colourful plastic Swatch
watches, posted a forecast-beating 25 percent rise in first-half
net profit to 579 million Swiss francs ($723 million) on
Thursday, and sales jumped 11 percent.