Catherine's Feed
Jul 26, 2012

ABB upbeat on outlook as China orders improve

ZURICH (Reuters) – Engineering firm ABB (ABBN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) hailed an uptick in China and resilient sales in the United States and parts of Europe to back an upbeat view of the future as second quarter profit missed forecasts.

The company said the tide seemed to have turned after a period of tough competition on prices and weak demand for power products such as transformers for utility companies, which has been hit by capital expenditure squeezes and government austerity.

Jul 24, 2012

Swatch sales soar despite weaker China luxury demand

ZURICH (Reuters) – Booming demand for mid-priced watches in China is more than offsetting a slight cooling at the top end of that market, world No. 1 watchmaker Swatch Group (UHR.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Tuesday as it stuck to a forecast for record annual sales.

Famous for its colorful plastic watches and also behind luxury brands including Omega – featured in this year’s James Bond movie, Swatch is set to overcome all risks, including fallout from the euro zone crisis, Chief Executive Nick Hayek told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.

Jul 19, 2012

EU demand helps Swiss exports rise for first time in 4 mths

ZURICH, July 19 (Reuters) – Switzerland’s exports rose for
the first time in four months in June as demand from core euro
zone countries rebounded and sales to the United States surged
as the franc fell against the dollar.

The franc has largely been trading in lockstep with the euro
since the Swiss National Bank set a cap of 1.20 per euro on the
safe-haven currency last September. With the euro under pressure
as the bloc’s debt crisis has flared up again, the franc has
slipped against the dollar.

Jul 19, 2012

Cost cuts help Actelion lift earnings view

ZURICH (Reuters) – Actelion (ATLN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) raised its earnings outlook for 2012 on Thursday as cost cuts helped Europe’s biggest biotech company to post a first-half profit despite its most important drug facing tough competition in the United States.

Actelion said it now expects core earnings to grow in a mid single-digit percentage range for 2012, compared with previous guidance for no core earnings growth. That rosier view is the second upward revision to its outlook this year.

Jul 13, 2012

SNB likely to stick to Libor despite scandal

ZURICH (Reuters) – The Swiss National Bank looks set to stick to Libor as the cornerstone of monetary policy despite the growing scandal over the manipulation of the benchmark interest rate.

The SNB is the only major central bank to explicitly target the London Interbank Offered Rate as a policy benchmark. Yet an international investigation into whether global banks rigged daily Libor fixings between 2007 and 2009 has damaged its credibility as a global financial standard.

Jul 12, 2012

Actelion to cut costs, focus research on Tracleer replacement

ZURICH (Reuters) – Europe’s top biotech company Actelion (ATLN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) said it would slash costs and cut back on research to focus on its pulmonary arterial hypertension business, in a bid to ensure growth when its key drug Tracleer goes off patent in 2015.

The firm said it would cut up to 132 jobs and have less but more focused research and development spending. A spokesman said he could not yet say how much the cost savings, part of a review announced in May, would amount to.

Jun 25, 2012

Nervous investors fill Swiss safes with cash, gold

ZURICH, June 25 (Reuters) – Investors trying to protect
their wealth from global economic uncertainty have been stashing
bank notes, gold bars and other valuables in Swiss banks,
fuelling demand for safe deposit boxes.

The euro zone debt crisis and fear that loose policy by
central banks will stoke inflation have sent investors in search
of extra security. New deals to prevent secret bank accounts in
Switzerland being used for evading taxes may also be
contributing to the trend.

Jun 14, 2012

Swiss threaten new steps on franc if euro woes worsen

BERNE (Reuters) – The Swiss National Bank dangled the threat of capital controls to hold down the value of the franc if the euro zone crisis escalates, days before a Greek election that could drive another flood of money into the safe-haven currency.

The central bank said it was determined to defend a cap of 1.20 per euro on the franc it imposed on September 6 and was ready to buy foreign currency in “unlimited quantities”.

Jun 14, 2012

SNB sticks with franc cap, threatens more action

BERNE, June 14 (Reuters) – The Swiss National Bank
reasserted its commitment to holding down the value of its
currency on Thursday, days before a Greek election that could
drive another flood of money from the euro zone into the
safe-haven franc.

The central bank said it was determined to defend a cap of
1.20 per euro on the franc it imposed on Sept. 6 and was ready
to buy foreign currency in “unlimited quantities”.

Jun 14, 2012

SNB to reaffirm franc cap, brace for Greek vote

BERNE, June 14 (Reuters) – The Swiss National Bank will
reassert its commitment to holding down its currency’s value
when it meets on Thursday, days before a Greek election that
could drive another flood of money from the euro zone into
Switzerland.

The central bank will defend its cap on the franc at 1.20
per euro, along with its threat to take additional steps to
shield the economy if the euro zone crisis escalates – a serious
risk given that Greeks could vote on Sunday to reject the terms
of their international bailout.