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The Week in Review

The major news of the week was the postponement of the auction of Switzerland's four licences for the next generation of mobile phones.

It was to have brought billions into the government's coffers but the decision to postpone came on Monday, shortly before the auction was due to begin on the Internet. The reason for the move was a merger agreement late on Sunday between two of the companies involved, Sunrise and diAx.

That would have left only four companies bidding and would have brought in the bare minimum of SFr200 million.

The government will take a decision on how to proceed at the beginning of next month.

An expert panel appointed by the government said this week that Switzerland must create a single body to regulate the financial industry.

It said the new body was needed to oversee the activities of all providers of financial services, not just banks.

The recommendations to weaken self-regulation are likely to meet stiff resistance from the industry.

Credit Suisse Group released third quarter net profit figures that were up 66 per cent to SFr1.6 billion. The results were lower than in the first and second quarters as the purchase of the US-based broker Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette began to bite into profits.

SAir Group saw its shares soar on Thursday amid rumours that the group was about to sell its flagship carrier, Swissair. SAir immediately denied the rumours.

Up to 140 jobs are to go at the industrial concern, SIG, as the company continues its efforts to re-focus on its packaging business. The jobs are to go over the next two years at the company's factory in Eclubens.

The cuts will be partly offset by the creation of 80 new jobs at other plants.

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