Catherine's Feed
Apr 18, 2012

Steely SNB chief has the mettle to tackle franc

BERNE, April 18 (Reuters) – The Swiss National Bank’s new
head is soft-spoken and bookish, but he is also a veteran
central banker who has demonstrated the gumption to enforce a
cap on the Swiss franc’s value and keep tight reins on the
financial sector.

Thomas Jordan, 49, took the helm on an interim basis from
Philipp Hildebrand after an uproar over a currency trade that
Hildebrand’s wife made not long before the SNB capped the franc
at 1.20 per euro in September.

Apr 12, 2012

Big banks face $638 billion shortfall on new rules

LONDON/ZURICH (Reuters) – The world’s biggest banks would have needed to find more than $600 billion if tough new capital rules to be phased in from 2013 had been in place last year.

The Basel Committee of global regulators said if the new rules, known as Basel III, had been in force at the middle of last year, banks would have needed 486 billion euros ($638 billion) to hold core capital of 7 percent of assets, which is the target level for banks to meet when new rules come in.

Mar 20, 2012

IMF tells Swiss to end FX cap once economy improves

BERNE (Reuters) – Switzerland should again allow its currency to trade freely once deflationary pressures ease and growth picks up, the IMF said, while giving no more precise indication when the six-month-old cap on the franc should be lifted.

As part of its annual evaluation of the Swiss economy, the results of which were published on Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund also recommended the Swiss encourage big banks to improve their capital faster.

Mar 16, 2012

GAM bets on weaker Swiss franc, SNB may shift cap

ZURICH, March 16 (Reuters) – A GAM Holding
fund manager says he has bought options expecting the Swiss
franc to weaken over time against the euro as the global economy
recovers, with the Swiss National Bank possibly using that
momentum to shift its cap on the currency.

Adrian Owens, who manages assets of $1.96 billion in the GAM
Global Rates fund, said his trade anticipates that the franc,
which nearly touched parity with the euro last August, will
soften from its current level of 1.2070 per euro.

Mar 15, 2012

Swiss cbank hikes growth forecast, says franc cap working

ZURICH, March 15 (Reuters) – The Swiss National Bank
doubled its growth forecast for 2012 on Thursday and said it was
determined to enforce its cap on the strong franc at 1.20 per
euro because it was helping stabilise the economy.

The central bank kept its interest rate target at 0-0.25
percent as expected and said it would maintain extremely high
liquidity on the money markets, though it dropped a reference to
targeting a three-month interbank-lending rate “close to zero”.

Mar 12, 2012

Tiffany hits back at Swatch with $590 million claim

ZURICH (Reuters) – Jeweler Tiffany & Co (TIF.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has filed a $590 million counter-claim against Swatch Group SA (UHR.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the Swiss watchmaker said on Monday, the latest volley in the companies’ feud over a failed deal to sell watches together.

Tiffany’s claim for 542 million Swiss francs in a Dutch arbitration court comes three months after Swatch, the world’s largest watchmaker, sued it for lost profits it estimated at 3.8 billion francs ($4.2 billion). The companies ended their deal in September.

Mar 12, 2012

Tiffany files $590 mln counter-claim against Swatch

ZURICH, March 12 (Reuters) – U.S. jeweler Tiffany & Co
has served Swatch Group SA with a 542 million
franc ($590 million) counter-claim in a legal dispute over their
former joint venture, the Swiss watchmaker said on Monday.

Tiffany’s claim comes after Swatch, the world’s largest
watchmaker, sued it in December for lost profit, which it
conservatively estimated at 3.8 billion francs, after the
breakdown of their venture three months previously.

Mar 8, 2012

SNB 2011 profit reinforces Swiss franc cap

BERNE, March 8 (Reuters) – The Swiss National Bank
swung into profit last year from a record loss in 2010, helped
by gains on its gold and foreign exchange reserves and
reinforcing its ability to defend its cap on the franc’s value.

The strong showing for 2011, confirmed in data on Thursday,
helps bolster the SNB’s credibility in the currency market where
it has capped the franc at 1.20 per euro since September to help
the country’s exporters and tourism industry to remain

Feb 29, 2012

Swiss Life profit disappoints, sets aside funds for AWD

ZURICH, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Insurer Swiss Life
struck a cautious note for the year ahead after it
missed expectations for 2011 profit, blighted by falling premium
income and sizeable provisions for legal bills involving German
financial advisory unit AWD.

“Going forward, we do not expect much tailwind from the
financial markets,” chief executive Bruno Pfister said on

Feb 27, 2012

Roche sticks to price in extended Illumina offer

ZURICH (Reuters) – Roche (ROG.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) extended its $5.7 billion hostile cash bid for U.S. gene decoder Illumina (ILMN.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Monday, showing the Swiss drugmaker’s willingness to play a waiting game, an M&A strategy that has paid off in the past.

But analysts say Roche, which has been successful with previous hostile deals, will ultimately have to raise its $44.50 per share bid to win Illumina, whose shares closed at $51.22 on Friday.