• Published by, 02nd Sep 2016 in category Engineering / Manufacturing in English

    Commodities and mining group Glencore PLC reported a narrower first-half net loss and signaled that it's on track to significantly reduce its net debt by selling unwanted assets to weather the recent commodities turmoil. The world's third largest diversified miner by market value reported a USD 369 million net loss for the six months ended 30 June, 2016, helped by cost reductions, compared with a USD 676 million net loss in the same period a year before. Revenue fell 6% on year to USD 69.4 billion due to broadly lower commodity prices as well as lower copper, zinc, coal and oil production in the first half compared with the same period a year before. Glencore's shares have more than doubled so far this year, buoyed by a surge in commodity prices that caught analysts off guard. Production cutbacks, particularly in zinc, and sturdy demand in China, the world's largest consumer of many commodities, after Beijing's recent economic stimulus, have contributed to improved prices.

  • Published by, 30th Aug 2016 in category BUSINESS NEWS in English

    After a very successful second edition of the program venture leaders China in 2015, 10 new Swiss startups forming the “Swiss national startup team” are ready to conquer the Middle Kingdom in October 2016. They will meet local investors, dive into China’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and learn about the opportunities of doing business there. For Swiss startups, China is a key market to explore. With the necessity to increase the visibility of Swiss high-tech innovation in China, venturelab launched the first edition of venture leaders China in 2014 on the model of the venture leaders programs in New York and Boston. This year’s finalists will pitch their novel technologies to local investors, experts and entrepreneurs in four fast paced innovation hubs: Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and for the first time this year, Hong Kong. The trip is coorganized with swissnex China.

  • Published by, 26th Aug 2016 in category General Interest in English

    The Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich is the best university in continental Europe and the 19th worldwide, according the latest Shanghai ranking of world universities. The top three spots were captured by Harvard, Stanford and UC Berkeley in the US. The University of Cambridge in the UK is ranked the best European university, coming in fourth place overall. All the universities to rank ahead of the ETH Zurich come from the US and the UK. The ETH Zurich is followed by the University of Tokyo to complete the top 20. The ETH Zurich moved up one notch from 2015, though it had placed 19th two years ago. The university has been steadily moving up the ranking over the years, having come in 27th ten years ago. The Shanghai ranking has been published annually since 2003. It compares universities according to six indicators, including the number alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals and the number of articles cited in scientific indices.

  • Published by, 23rd Aug 2016 in category Bank / Finance / Insurance in English

    Swiss Re announced a public-private partnership with the government of Heilongjiang Province, China and the Sunlight Agriculture Mutual Insurance Company of China for a reinsurance protection scheme. As communicated by Swiss Re, the scheme – which covers 28 poverty-stricken counties in Northeast China – is the first that the Chinese government establishes using commercial insurance programmes to protect farmers against financial risks from natural catastrophes, and it is also the first anti-poverty insurance deal in the country. The scheme provides financial compensation for harm to lives and property of farming families and covers loss of income after floods, excessive rain, drought and low temperatures for a total of up to USD 348 million. Swiss Re global partnerships Chairman Martyn Parker said: “This is a real innovation and a groundbreaking success in supporting China to protect against fiscal fluctuation caused by natural disasters. It has also set up an excellent example of public private partnership in mitigating natural catastrophe risks with insurance programs.”

  • Published by, 19th Aug 2016 in category Engineering / Manufacturing in English

    LafargeHolcim Ltd., the world’s largest cement maker, agreed to sell some plants to Huaxin Cement Co. for CHF 208 million (USD 215 million), the company’s second asset sale in China this week as Chief Executive Officer Eric Olsen cuts debt and tries to boost profitability. The transaction with Huaxin includes most of the non-listed Chinese cement assets held by LafargeHolcim’s Lafarge China Cement Ltd. unit, the Jona, Switzerland-based company said in a statement Wednesday. Lafarge on Monday also agreed to sell a 56% stake in publicly traded Sichuan Shuangma Cement Co. to Tianjin Circle Enterprise for CHF 507 million. More than a year after the cement maker was forged from France’s Lafarge and Switzerland’s Holcim, Olsen is trying to deliver on profitability that was the underlying rationale for the merger after a global recession curbed demand for building materials. Delays in asset disposals and high-profile executive departures have eroded investor confidence at a time when competitors such as Heidelberg Cement AG are benefiting from improved demand in North America and Europe.

  • Published by, 17th Aug 2016 in category Business in English

    Is China still an attractive export destination? Yes, according to most Swiss companies. The slower economic growth in "new normal" mode is practically no problem for them. Euphoria about the Chinese economic wonder has settled down. A certain disillusionment has taken place, but this is still far removed from downheartedness, according to the current "Swiss Business in China" report. More than half of the companies surveyed intend to continue to expand their China exposure. Although the "new normal" this year indicates there will once again be modest growth for the Chinese economy of about 6.5%, most companies assume that they will maintain or even increase turnover and profits. Apart from the "new normality", another phenomenon is drawing attention: the competitive pressure of local companies is growing, although it is not yet critical. Thanks to their good reputation, high quality and the great trust they enjoy, Swiss companies remain well-positioned. This is especially the case since the general conditions continue to represent great challenges, but in the "new normal" mode and a more sober market environment, Swiss providers can bring their advantages and merits even better to bear.

  • Published by, 12th Aug 2016 in category Culture & Society in French

    Recently, Dr. Fabrice Jordan confesses to having seen many pairs of eyes widen at the mention of his project, unique in Switzerland, the Taoist Ming Shan center which will soon be ready to break ground in Bullet. Mainly made of wood and according to the feng shui, the U-shaped building, close to the mountain and overlooking the lake, will include three practice rooms for body art. It will also be a library, a medical office, a temple, a shop, and dormitory rooms for about thirty people, and an internal restaurant with 60 seats. The center will accommodate anyone Ming Shan caress the desire for a spiritual retreat and will be an important component of the project relates to health prevention. The center Ming Shan is supported by local and regional authorities, but also by the tourism authorities. The opening is planned after 18 months of work for the second half of 2018. Eight working places will be created at first.

  • Published by, 10th Aug 2016 in category Business in English

    The EurAsia Info Summit 2016 in Davos (Switzerland), focusing on B2B Precision Manufacturing Matchmaking, will take place in Technopark Zürich from 30 October to 1 November 2016. It is supported by many officials, Chinese municipal governments and several associations. The summit has been initiated by EurAsia Info in Switzerland and will be hosted jointly with the World Association of Chinese Mass Media , Your Travel China Connect AG , Brugger und Partner AG and others. The meetings in Technopark Zürich are organized in cooperation with the Swiss-Chinese Chamber of Commerce. Switzerland is a unique country famous for its economy and financial industry as well as its natural beauty. Innovation and pragmatism enable this tiny European country to be at the forefront of developed countries worldwide and to maintain its strong stable economical and financial position. Swiss precision manufacturing industry is perceived as “superior quality” by Chinese consumers. The production scale of these top brand companies is not large, however, their products are irreplaceable. As Chinese people have a strong preference for Swiss quality,  the industrial and trade structures of the two countries can complement each other. Our summit will help the two sides to realize further mutual benefits and a win-win cooperation.

  • Published by, 08th Aug 2016 in category Hospitality / Tourism / Retail in English

    HNA Group, China's fourth-biggest airline, announced on Wednesday it had secured acceptances for 96.1% of the shares in its bid for Gategroup Holding AG, the Switzerland-based in-flight catering provider. Gategroup said in a statement that payment for the shares was expected to be made towards the end of the third quarter or beginning of the fourth quarter. After the settlement of the offer, HNA intends to submit an application for the delisting of the Gategroup shares and for an exemption from certain disclosure and publicity obligations in accordance with the listing rules of SIX Swiss Exchange, the principal stock exchange in Switzerland. Zurich-headquartered Gategroup is an independent provider of products, services and solutions relating to passenger's onboard service. It specializes in catering and hospitality, provisioning and logistics, onboard products and services to companies that serve people on the move.

  • Published by, 05th Aug 2016 in category Bank / Finance / Insurance in English

    China's companies with going-global strategies are likely to present good investment opportunities and will be one of the major investment themes in the second half of 2016, according to Gao Ting, head of China strategy at UBS Securities. Sharing his outlook for the second half of 2016 on Wednesday, Gao said: "Generally speaking foreign investments in China and China's investments in other countries are at a similar level, which shows that the size of China's overseas investments is getting greater." Differing from previous investments of Chinese enterprises that focused on resources and energies, recent programs by private enterprises mainly focus on consumption-driven sectors, such as tourism, which will meet the demands of fast-growing numbers of outbound tourists. They also now emphasize internet-based technologies with a great number of domestic users, according to research data of UBS Securities.