The business week in Switzerland

Shares on the Swiss market moved lower over the week while the Swiss franc continued to look weak against the dollar, which bought around SFr1.67, while the euro remained stable against the Swiss currency, buying SFr1.6050.

This content was published on March 10, 2000 - 18:17

Shares on the Swiss market moved lower over the week while the Swiss franc continued to look weak against the dollar, which bought around SFr1.67, while the euro remained stable against the Swiss currency, buying SFr1.6050.

Among the major business stories of the week here in Switzerland:

- UBS announced a doubling in profits to SFr6.3 billion, with a strong recovery reported in its investment banking arm UBS Warburg. However, its private banking and asset management operation showed a disappointing peformance.
- S-AirGroup, owners of Swissair, saw profits slide by 24 per cent to SFr273 million. It was unsettled by higher fuel costs while cut throat competition continued to keep fares down.
- The ailing Swiss industrial group Sulzer saw net profits jump 39 per cent to SFr254 million, but the increase was due to exceptional gains obtained during its extensive restructuring programme. Excluding such gains, operating profit actually fell 20 per cent to SFr309 million.
- Swiss Gross Domestic Product grew at an annualised rate of 3.7 per cent during the fourth quarter of 1999, with the year-on-year rate up three per cent.
- Unemployment in Switzerland dropped back to 2.4 per cent in February from 2.6 per cent in January. The number of people out of work now stands at 89,000.
- Swiss Life created a separate asset management business, looking after assets valued at SFr100 billion.
- The Lausanne based financial publisher, Agefi, disclosed net profits up 94 per cent at SFr2 million over 1999 as advertising revenues picked-up sharply.

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