Swiss

The German share price index DAX graph at the stock exchange in Frankfurt
FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, April 23, 2019. REUTERS/Staff

April 24, 2019

By Medha Singh and Agamoni Ghosh

(Reuters) – European shares edged lower on Wednesday as signals that China has put broader stimulus on hold overshadowed strong earnings from the likes of SAP and Credit Suisse.

The pan-regional STOXX 600 index was down 0.1 percent by 0920 GMT – though the benchmark index has notched gains in the past eight consecutive sessions, and shown a tendency to rebound from a weaker open.

“The market is taking some cue from the slowing of stimulus in China,” said Stefan Koopman, Market Economist, Eurozone, Rabobank.

“For the European markets to get some traction in the upcoming months we really need to depend on what’s happening in China.”

Most major regional bourses were in the red though the slew of upbeat earnings helping German and Swiss indexes advance.

Business software company SAP soared to an all-time high and boosted the DAX after the company set ambitious new mid-term targets and as activist investor Elliott Management disclosed a 1.2 billion euro ($1.35 billion) stake in the company.

Top performer was Wirecard which climbed 8 percent after the payments company confirmed Japan’s Softbank Group Corp will buy a 5.6 percent stake in the firm.

STMicro shrugged off a gloomy prediction by bigger rival Texas Instruments and posted a broadly inline update, which sent its shares up more than 3 percent.

SAP and STMicro drove the tech sector up 2.5 percent to its highest since July 2018.

Kicking off the first-quarter balance sheet assessment for banks in the region, Swiss lender Credit Suisse rose 2.5 percent after posting a surprise profit and saying it was cautiously optimistic about the second-quarter following a challenging start to the year.

Results from Credit Suisse will be followed by UBS Group AG and Barclays on Thursday and Deutsche Bank on Friday.

Healthcare stocks got a boost from Novartis’ gains as the Swiss drugmaker raised its 2019 guidance after a first-quarter earnings and sales beat.

Swedish truckmaker AB Volvo rose after reporting a better-than-expected first-quarter operating profit on the back of stronger pricing and easing supply chain constraints.

Auto stocks dropped 0.7 percent, led by Renault after its Japanese partner Nissan Motor Co slashed its full-year profit forecast to its lowest in nearly a decade due to weakness in the United States.

Also weighing on the benchmark was the oil and gas sector which pulled back after a 2 percent jump in the prior session as crude prices retreated from 2019 highs. [O/R]

Online gaming company Kindred Group plc landed at the bottom of STOXX 600 after profits for the first-quarter were significantly impacted by a new local license in Sweden.

(Reporting by Medha Singh and Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The Credit Suisse logo is pictured on a bank in Geneva
FILE PHOTO: The Credit Suisse logo is pictured on a bank in Geneva, Switzerland, October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

April 24, 2019

By Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi

ZURICH (Reuters) – Credit Suisse set a positive tone for this quarter’s European bank results on Wednesday, lifting its net profit as gains in equities and deeper ties between trading and private banking helped offset lower revenue.

Switzerland’s second-biggest bank bucked market expectations of a profit dip and said it gained market share in equities trading during a quarter in which major U.S. rivals such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley saw revenue slides in this business.

Its Global Markets trading unit, the focus of much criticism in recent years, increased equity trading, with Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam saying Credit Suisse was “moving up the ranks in equities”. But a slide in its Asian unit brought overall group revenue from equities sales and trading down by 5 percent.

Wednesday’s results also included a forecast that Credit Suisse was cautiously optimistic about the second quarter.

Although Credit Suisse last year wrapped up a three-year overhaul with its first annual profit since 2014, volatile earnings and high headcount in its trading division meant it faced questions over whether it was downsized enough.

“Global Markets has been the main cause of consensus earnings downgrades over the past year and with these results has now shown signs of stabilizing,” Citi analysts said.

However, in the first quarter Credit Suisse said the unit increased equity sales and trading by 4 percent, while fixed-income sales and trading fell by just 2 percent, notably less than at U.S. investment banks.

Credit Suisse shares rose by more than 3 percent to a six-month high following the results, in which it confirmed its full-year profitability target but noted it would need supportive markets, and a pickup in revenues, to hit its goals.

Last month Swiss rival UBS forecast first-quarter revenues would fall by about a third in its investment bank and by 9 percent in wealth management, its largest business.

UBS is looking to cut costs further as CEO Sergio Ermotti sounded a pessimistic note on profitability for the year.

Analysts expect first-quarter profit at UBS, which is Switzerland’s biggest bank, to have nearly halved when it reports on Thursday.

(This story corrects net profit figure to 749 million Swiss francs in first bullet point, adds dropped word “group”, paragraph 3)

(Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Michael Shields and Alexander Smith)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph at the stock exchange in Frankfurt
FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Staff

April 24, 2019

(Reuters) – European shares pulled back from eight-month highs on Wednesday as worries over China putting policy-easing measures on hold offset upbeat earnings in the region from Credit Suisse and SAP.

The pan-regional STOXX 600 index was down 0.1 percent by 0732 GMT. The benchmark index has notched gains in the past eight consecutive sessions, with a trend of rebounding from a weaker open.

Asian shares were also weak despite the S&P 500 hitting an all-time closing high overnight on boosts to earnings, as investors worried over Beijing slowing the pace of policy easing for the world’s second-largest economy. [MKTS/GLOB]

Germany’s DAX eked out a gain ahead of the country’s Ifo business climate data, due at 0800 GMT, while all other major regional bourses were in the red.

Auto stocks dropped 1 percent, led by Renault after its Japanese partner Nissan Motor Co slashed its full-year profit forecast to its lowest in nearly a decade due to weakness in the United States.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said European Union tariffs facing motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson Inc were “unfair” and vowed to reciprocate, but gave no other details.

Online gaming company Kindred Group plc landed at the bottom of STOXX 600 after profits for the first-quarter were significantly impacted by a new local license in Sweden.

The oil and gas sector pulled back after a 2 percent jump in the prior session on the back of higher crude prices.

Kicking off the first-quarter balance sheet assessment for banks in the region, Swiss lender Credit Suisse rose 3 percent after posting a surprise profit and saying it was cautiously optimistic about the second-quarter following a challenging start to the year.

Results from Credit Suisse will be followed by those from UBS Group AG and Barclays on Thursday and Deutsche Bank on Friday.

Top performers on STOXX 600 was payments company Wirecard and business software company SAP which also kept the Germany’s DAX afloat.

Wirecard jumped 8 percent after a Bloomberg report said Japan’s Softbank was looking to invest about 900 million euros ($1 billion) to pick up a minority stake in the company.

SAP climbed 6 percent and drove tech sector 1.9 percent higher as the company set ambitious new mid-term targets to boost profit margins after reporting a first-quarter operating loss that chiefly resulted from a restructuring charge.

Healthcare stocks got a boost from Novartis’ gains as the Swiss drugmaker raised its 2019 guidance after a first-quarter earnings and sales beat.

Swedish truckmaker AB Volvo rose after reporting a better-than expected first-quarter operating profit on the back of stronger pricing and easing supply chain constraints.

(Reporting by Medha Singh and Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Catherine Evans)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Representation of the Bitcoin virtual currency standing on a PC motherboard
FILE PHOTO: Representation of the Bitcoin virtual currency standing on a PC motherboard is seen in this illustration picture, February 3, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

April 24, 2019

By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

(Reuters) – Swiss investment firm Final Frontier and global blockchain technology company the Bitfury Group, which was recently valued at $1 billion, on Wednesday announced the launch of a regulated bitcoin mining fund.

The fund is under the supervision of Liechtenstein’s financial regulator.

Both companies, however, did not disclose the size of the fund, which was developed by Final Frontier for institutional and professional investors to gain access to the esoteric world of bitcoin mining.

Bitcoin mining entails updating the ledger of bitcoin transactions known as the blockchain. Miners run extremely powerful computers in a race against other miners to guess a specific number. The first miner to guess the number gets to update the ledger of transactions and also receives a reward of 12.5 newly minted bitcoins.

Bitfury, which holds a minority stake in Switzerland-based Final Frontier, said in a statement it is providing the hardware and end-to-end services for the bitcoin mining fund. The mining sites where the equipment will be deployed will be in locations scouted and serviced by Bitfury.

The fund will invest in turnkey assets consisting of mining sites with some of the lowest electricity and operating costs globally that feature Bitfury data centers, both companies said.

Imraan Moola, co-founder of Final Frontier, said the firm is launching the fund at an advantageous time for investors. “With the bitcoin price down significantly from its all-time high, yet institutional interest growing every day, now may be an opportune time to consider investing in bitcoin mining,” Moola said.

Bitcoin has trended higher the last few weeks, trading up nearly 4 percent at $5,594.65 on the Bitstamp platform late Tuesday.

That rally has made bitcoin mining more profitable, said crypto analyst Alex Kruger, noting that profits have risen since the start of April.

He said on Twitter that the break-even cost for efficient bitcoin mining operations currently hovers around $3,550 to $4,350, while the price of bitcoin is in the $5,500-plus range. That ensures a $1,000-plus profit for each bitcoin mined.

Bitfury late last year raised $80 million from investors including the merchant bank founded by billionaire Mike Novogratz, a former macro hedge fund manager at Fortress Investment Group. That funding pushed Bitfury’s valuation to $1 billion.

(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Source: OANN

Mark Haefele, Global Chief Investment Officer of UBS Wealth Management attends the Reuters Investment Summit
FILE PHOTO: Mark Haefele, Global Chief Investment Officer of UBS Wealth Management attends the Reuters Investment Summit, London, Britain, November 16, 2017. REUTERS/Paul Hackett

April 18, 2019

(Reuters) – UBS Global Wealth Management has closed its overweight position in U.S. equities and shifted to an overweight in emerging market and Japanese stocks, it said on Thursday.

UBS Global Wealth Management chief investment officer Mark Haefele said also that the firm preferred the euro over the Swiss franc and Norwegian crown versus the Canadian dollar.

(Reporting by Sujata Rao and Tom Arnold)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Swiss power technology and automation group ABB is seen in Baden
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss power technology and automation group ABB is seen at a plant in Baden, Switzerland January 28, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

April 17, 2019

ZURICH (Reuters) – Big ABB shareholders Investor AB and Cevian backed on Wednesday the Swiss engineering group’s move to replace Chief Executive Ulrich Spiesshofer.

“We support the board’s decision that now is the right time for a new person at the helm in order to speed up the execution of the new strategy and deliver on the key financial targets,” an Investor AB spokeswoman said in an emailed comment.

Lars Forberg, co-founder of Cevian Capital, said: “We support the strategic direction of ABB, and have full confidence in Peter Voser and the management team to continue implementing the transformation of ABB.”

(Reporting by John Revill and Simon Johnson, Editing by Michael Shields)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Swiss drugmaker Roche is seen at its headquarters in Basel
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss drugmaker Roche is seen at its headquarters in Basel, Switzerland February 1, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

April 17, 2019

ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss drugmaker Roche raised its 2019 outlook after first-quarter sales beat analyst forecasts on the strength of newer medicines including multiple sclerosis treatment Ocrevus and cancer immunotherapy Tecentriq.

Roche said sales are now expected to grow in the mid-single digit range, at constant exchange rates.

Revenue in the first quarter rose to 14.8 billion Swiss francs ($14.70 billion), compared to the 14.2 billion franc average forecast in a poll for Reuters. Ocrevus sales rose 67 percent to 836 million francs. Tecentriq revenue more than doubled to 336 million francs.

(Reporting by John Miller)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Chairman Voser of Swiss power technology and automation group ABB addresses annual shareholder meeting in Zurich
FILE PHOTO: Chairman Peter Voser of Swiss power technology and automation group ABB addresses the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

April 17, 2019

ZURICH (Reuters) – ABB Chairman Peter Voser has taken over as temporary chief executive at the Swiss engineering group, the company said on Wednesday, after CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer stepped down.

Spiesshofer, CEO since 2013, agreed with the board to step down and a search has now begun for a successor, ABB said.

(Reporting by John Revill)

Source: OANN

Firefighters work at Notre-Dame Cathedral after a massive fire devastated large parts of the gothic gem in Paris
Firefighters work at Notre-Dame Cathedral after a massive fire devastated large parts of the gothic gem in Paris, France April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman

April 16, 2019

By Noor Zainab Hussain and Paul Arnold

(Reuters) – Major European insurers expect France to bear the bulk of the cost of rebuilding the Notre-Dame Cathedral after a fire tore through the eight-centuries-old Paris landmark on Monday.

The cost of a likely multi-year restoration project could itself take a year to become clear, industry experts said.

“It is really going to be up to the French state and benefactors to help to restore and rebuild this,” Robert Read, head of art and private client at Lloyd’s of London insurer Hiscox told Reuters, adding it could take up to 20 years to restore the cathedral.

“The scaffolding costs are going to be enormous, actually securing the building is going to be enormous. The cost of renovating the (British) Parliament is a similar sort of number,” Read said.

The cost of repairs and upgrades to the neo-Gothic fronted parliament building on the banks of the River Thames has been estimated at up to $8 billion.

French President Emmanuel Macron has said France would launch a fundraising campaign to rebuild Notre-Dame, which ranks among the finest examples of French Gothic cathedral architecture.

Several of France’s business elite have already pledged money to help, including a 200 million euros ($226 million)donation from Bernard Arnault and 100 million from Francois Pinault, heads of luxury goods groups LVMH and Kering respectively.

“Rebuilding would be very tricky as some of the craft required to rebuild, the stone-masonry craft would probably have to be relearnt,” Hiscox’s Read said.

Reinsurer Swiss Re said works of art in buildings such as the cathedral are generally not insured because they are often priceless. Any art works on loan from third parties would, however, be insured, Read added.

While some of the large paintings at Notre-Dame could not be taken down in time, the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, said at the scene of the fire that a number of the many artworks in the cathedral had been rescued and were being put in safe storage.

Notre-Dame was in the midst of renovations and industry sources said the contractor would have its own liability policy.

“Typically that would be for tens of millions of euros. But effectively that is going to be a drop in the ocean compared to what the actual cost of restoring the cathedral is,” Read said.

“If they are deemed to be liable they would be carrying some cover, but it’s not unlimited and it’s definitely not going to be enough to rebuild the Cathedral.”

(This story has been refiled to fix incorrect reference to “stone-masonry” craft in paragraph eight.)

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru and Paul Arnold in Zurich; Additional reporting by Inti Landauro in Paris; Editing by David Holmes)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A map illustrating China's silk road economic belt and the 21st century maritime silk road, or the so-called
FILE PHOTO: A map illustrating China’s silk road economic belt and the 21st century maritime silk road, or the so-called “One Belt, One Road” megaproject, is displayed at the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong, China January 18, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

April 16, 2019

ZURICH (Reuters) – Switzerland will sign an accord backing China’s Belt and Road Initiative when President Ueli Maurer visits China this month, cementing ties with a major trading partner as other Western countries view the gargantuan project with scepticism.

President Xi Jinping’s new Silk Road initiative has been controversial particularly in Washington, which views it as a way to spread Chinese influence abroad and saddle countries with unsustainable debt, a charge Beijing rejects.

Locked in a trade war with China, the United States has been particularly critical of Italy’s decision to sign up to the plan, the first for a G7 nation. Others in the West are less keen to jump aboard, although many have kept an open mind.

Neutral Switzerland sees the BRI accord to be signed during Maurer’s trip as a way to support economic development, especially in central Asia.

“The aim of the memorandum is for both parties to intensify cooperation on trade, investment and project financing in third markets along the routes of the Belt and Road Initiative”, the finance ministry said on Tuesday without giving more details.

Maurer, who is also finance minister, will attend the second Belt and Road summit next week which is expected to draw around 40 foreign leaders.

The first summit for Belt and Road — which envisions rebuilding the old Silk Road to connect China with Asia, Europe and beyond with massive infrastructure spending — was in 2017.

Xi has also invited Maurer for a state visit on April 28 and 29, his ministry said. Swiss business and financial leaders will accompany Maurer on his eight-day China trip.

Switzerland, one of the first Western states to recognize the People’s Republic, was the first country in continental Europe to reach a free trade agreement with China, its largest trade partner after the European Union and United States.

Xi made a state visit to Switzerland in 2017.

(Reporting by Michael Shields, editing by Ed Osmond)

Source: OANN


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