Your Daily Scan of the New Global Economy


Intel Switzerland

  • Big data key for commodity traders’ future

    The world’s biggest commodity traders need to invest heavily in big data and technology if they are to arrest the relentless erosion of profit margins and recapture their information edge over rivals. Oliver Wyman, one of the few consultancies to track the performance of the largely private industry, forecast in a report that profit margins could fall by another 15% to less than $30 billion (CHF29.8 billion) by 2025, continuing a trend that has already weighed on traders such as Trafigura and Vitol. Gross trading margins – the amount made on trades before deducting costs such as tax, salaries and bonuses – have already dropped by 20% to $35 billion since their recent peak in 2015 amid fierce competition and more widely available access to market intelligence. Roland Rechtsteiner, a partner at Oliver Wyman and co-author of the report, said that after growing trading volumes aggressively between 2014 and 2017 to offset margin erosion, the industry now needed to prioritise …


  • Brexit woes, cheese intake and health costs

    Almost every article published by contains a percentage, an age, an amount of money or some other figure. Here’s a round-up of the most interesting statistics to appear in the past week’s stories. 9 The spot achieved by Lausanne’s University Hospital (CHUV) in a global ranking of the best hospitals. The only other European institution to make it onto the list was Berlin’s Charité university hospital. Top of the list was the Mayo Clinic from the United States. 74 The percentage of Chief Financial Officers at Swiss companies concerned about potential fallout from Brexit, according to a survey from the Deloitte consulting firm. Some Swiss companies are preparing for a range of scenarios to help limit potential Brexit-related disruptions to supply chains, product delivery and staffing. 320 The number by which Swiss residents’ cheese intake increased last year. Some 186,000 tonnes of cheese were eaten in Switzerland in 2018, according to annual numbers from …


  • PostFinance faces renewed criticism by expat Swiss

    The expatriate Swiss community has called for equal access to the services of PostFinance, but it stopped short of taking the state-owned company to court. The delegates of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) approved a proposal, urging a “non-discriminatory” treatment of expatriate Swiss clients compared with residents in Switzerland. The decision came after the 140-member Council of the Swiss Abroad discussed a proposal at its bi-annual meeting in the capital Bern on Saturday. John McGough, an OSA delegate from Hungary, initially wanted to sue PostFinance in court, in the hope of forcing the company to grant expatriate Swiss clients the right to hold an account. “Swiss citizens need a bank account,” he told the assembly. He also criticised the company for charging fees that are five times as high as those for domestic clients. His demand was supported by a delegate and council member from Israel. Erich Bloch accused the Swiss government of ignoring the needs of the …


  • Swiss join protests against EU copyright reform

    Tens of thousands of people across Europe, including in the Swiss city of Zurich, staged protests on Saturday against the European Union’s planned copyright reform bill. More than 1,000 demonstrators marched in the northeastern Switzerland against the copyright reforms which critics fear threaten freedom of speech, according to the Keystone-SDA news agency. The copyright directive, which is due for a final vote at the European Parliament next Tuesday, aims to modernize copyright laws so they are fit for the digital era. In future, platforms such as Youtube will have to check whether uploaded contents contain copyright material. Critics say this is only possible via costly automated filters, which would amount to censorship, and which smaller platforms cannot be expected to afford. Backers of the reform believe such fears are unfounded.  The Swiss senate is holding off on amending the copyright regime of the Alpine nation until there is a clear outcome from the European Union. …


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