Emma's Feed
Jul 11, 2012

Swiss bank Reyl seeks U.S. clients despite tensions

GENEVA (Reuters) – Swiss private bank Reyl & Cie is aiming to double its assets under management to over 10 billion Swiss francs ($10.2 billion)within five years, partly by targeting U.S. clients turned away by rivals, its chief executive said.

Many Swiss financial firms have shed U.S. clients after tensions between U.S. and Switzerland rose following an investigation into 11 Swiss banks including Credit Suisse and Julius Baer.

Jul 5, 2012

Swiss opt against Iran oil ban despite U.S., EU moves

GENEVA, July 5 (Reuters) – The Swiss government will not
match European Union sanctions on Iran, deciding on Thursday
that its own pending set of toughened measures would exclude a
ban on trading Iranian oil and defending its traditional
neutrality in the face of U.S. pressure.

The move offers top Swiss-based oil traders such as Glencore
and Trafigura a legal loophole for dealing in Iranian
crude, although the prospect of falling foul of U.S. and EU
restrictions will almost certainly deter them.

Jul 4, 2012

U.S. “reviewing” UN agency over IT supplies to Iran

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United States said on Wednesday it was reviewing a U.N. agency’s dealings with sanctioned countries such as Iran after documents showed the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) had supplied IT equipment to the Islamic Republic.

The Geneva-based WIPO, a 185-member body that includes Iran, sent IT equipment to Iranian authorities, according to correspondence between WIPO and the Iranian agency dealing with intellectual property, dated August 2010 and provided to Reuters by a source close to WIPO.

Jul 4, 2012

Swiss launch probe into former Gunvor employee

GENEVA, July 4 (Reuters) – Swiss authorities are
investigating a former employee of Geneva-based oil trader
Gunvor for activities in Congo, the company said without
revealing what issues the investigation related to.

Asked about the case, Switzerland’s Attorney General office
said on Wednesday it had opened criminal proceedings against an
unknown individual suspected of money laundering but declined to
give any further details.

Jul 1, 2012

Nigeria favors local firms in $60 billion oil deals

GENEVA/ABUJA (Reuters) – Africa’s top oil producer Nigeria will award nearly half of its $60 billion annual supply contracts to local companies, a document showed, and cut supplies to major commodity traders such as Glencore (GLEN.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

The OPEC member has allocated about three-quarters of its daily production or around 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) via term contracts to 50 companies including 21 Nigerian firms, a document sent to winning firms showed.

Jun 30, 2012

Russia and West tussle at Syria peace talks

GENEVA (Reuters) – Russia and Western powers locked horns over a peace plan for Syria on Saturday as U.N. mediator Kofi Annan warned the conflict could spread across the Middle East and beyond.

Foreign ministers and international diplomats were meeting in Geneva with governments still in dispute over whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, condemned in the West but still backed by Russia, could have any role in a political transition.

Jun 27, 2012

Oil firms ignore Swiss loophole on Iran

ZUG, Switzerland (Reuters) – Swiss-based oil firms are not exploiting the lack of a government decision to follow the European Union and impose a ban on Iranian oil and the authorities will closely monitor the situation, the director of a Swiss federal department said.

The Swiss Economics Ministry (SECO) in April postponed a decision on whether to copy the EU’s ban on the importation, purchase or shipping of Iranian oil and has still not taken a position less than a week before the embargo takes full effect.

Jun 27, 2012

Buyer beware of $10 million discounts on Nigerian oil

GENEVA (Reuters) – Little-known firms claiming to have privileged access to prized sweet crude oil from Nigeria are offering to sell it at such deep discounts that traders say the deals are too good to be genuine.

Documents seen by Reuters show spot cargoes of several hundred thousand barrels of crude can be picked up at discounts of up to $10 million.

Jun 26, 2012

BNP Paribas loses two top commodities bankers

GENEVA, June 26 (Reuters) – BNP Paribas has lost
two of its top Geneva-based bankers in commodity trade finance,
the French bank confirmed, dealing a further blow to one of the
sector’s major lenders.

The departures were driven by a perception of diminishing
opportunities within the bank, industry sources said, as
traditional lenders cut lending due to a lack of dollar
financing and new European rules on capital requirements due to
be phased in next year.

Jun 22, 2012

Swiss haven chagrined as commodities traders look East

GENEVA, June 22 (Reuters) – Switzerland’s low corporate
taxes, business-friendly regulations and reputation for
discretion have attracted multinational commodities trading
firms “as a dunghill attracts flies”.

This is how The Berne Declaration – a Swiss NGO which
campaigns to ensure local companies act responsibly – describes
Switzerland’s appeal in a new book that aims to shed light on
the methods of an industry that traditionally prefers to conduct
its business away from the gaze of regulators and journalists.