ompanies are hiring, factory output is rising, and consumers are spending. The U.S. economy looks less and less like its headed for a recession. So then why is the Federal Reserve still likely to cut rates later this month? For political leverage, says billionaire investor Ken Fisher.


Meet HENRY: the luxury goods consumer of the future
Marketers have coined the term HENRY—which stands for “high earners, not rich yet”—to describe the next generation of luxury consumers. Karine Szegedi, partner at Deloitte Switzerland, told us more about what makes a HENRY.

Hong Kong protests bite into Swiss watch exports
Swiss watch exports to Hong Kong fell 26.8% in June, another sign the Hong Kong protests are taking their toll on the luxury sector. Mariana Kou, Head of Hong Kong Consumer Research at CLSA, says she expects July and August to be “quite challenging” for export figures.

Ken Fisher: Fed rate-cut timing is politically motivated
Companies are hiring, factory output is rising, and consumers are spending. The U.S. economy looks less and less like its headed for a recession. So then why is the Federal Reserve still likely to cut rates later this month? For political leverage, says billionaire investor Ken Fisher.

Why Switzerland is a great place to park capital
Investors are flocking to Swiss stocks and the SMI is on quite a run. Peter Rosenstreich, head of market strategy at Swissquote, sees this as part of a global trend with central banks taking a dovish stance. “The search for yield is on,” he says, “and Switzerland is a great place to park capital.”

Kepler Cheuvreux: “Swatch needs to sort out its online strategy”
Head of Swiss equities at Kepler Cheuvreux Jon Cox sees challenges ahead for Swatch Group in the second half of 2019 as competitors are offering more smart watches and a wider variety online. However, in Cox’s view, Swiss watch exports overall could pick up in the next months despite the protests in Hong Kong having an impact on luxury sales.

Exclusive: UBS responds to climate protesters
Divesting out of companies with ties to energy-intensive projects is not a panacea to climate change issues, UBS’s corporate responsibility management boss Christian Leitz says. His comments come after climate change activists staged a protest outside of UBS and Credit Suisse’s offices last week calling for the banks to stop financing companies involved in fossil fuel projects. Leitz adds: “It’s not that we can just jump out of certain sources of energy from today to tomorrow. There needs to be a clear transition.”

Bitcoin Suisse joins race to win banking license
Crypto finance firm Bitcoin Suisse announced today that it has applied for a banking license. Chairman Niklas Nikolajsen says it would be “very surprising” and a “big blow” if they do not get the green light from FINMA. A license would allow the Zug company to hold deposits and deal with security tokens more effectively.

Switzerland: rich and getting richer
Personal wealth in Switzerland will likely grow by 3 percent this year on average, says Anna Zakrzewski, managing director of Boston Consulting Group. That assumes markets don’t take a nosedive as they did at the end of 2018 when a big chunk of the world’s wealth was wiped out in a few weeks.

Power to the markets!
Eugen Perger, senior analyst at Research Partners, sees strong tailwinds for Swiss power producers like BKW, Romande Energie, and Alpiq. In his view, larger producers should be profitable at current price levels, and considering that unfavorable hedging deals will expire next year, he says better results can be expected.

Be nice to the Chief Digital Officer—they could be your next CEO
The Chief Digital Officer (CDO) is one of the newer titles in the C-Suite—and one of the least understood. Christian Wohlgensinger of management consultancy Egon Zehnder explains why a global survey of CDOs found that transforming companies was much more difficult than they expected.

Visionapartments CEO and founder sticks to Europe
According to Anja Graf, CEO and founder of Visionapartments, local knowledge is key for growing in a profitable way in real estate. This is one reason she does not see herself expanding to Asia despite strong growth signals in that region.

Going digital: Localsearch offers SMEs access to Amazon
About 90 percent of Swiss SMEs don’t have a website adapted to mobile use and search engines, says Stefano Santinelli, CEO of Swisscom-owned localsearch, still best known by some as publisher of the big, bulky telephone book. Today, the company’s main source of revenue is helping these same small businesses build a savvier online presence, including access to e-commerce giants such as Amazon.

Swisscanto: Europe needs big bank to compete with Wall Street
Earlier this month, European officials nominated Christine Lagarde as the next ECB president. Her support for greater European fiscal integration could pave the way for more mergers in the crowded banking industry, says Swisscanto’s Daniel Björk.

Natixis: Rate cut or not, U.S. economy is facing a slowdown
The S&P 500 hit the 3,000 mark for the first time ever on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell suggested before Congress that an interest rate cut may be forthcoming. But for Esty Dwek, senior investment strategist at Natixis Investment Managers, Powell didn’t emphasize the risks and uncertainties that lie ahead. In her view, the U.S. economy is facing not a recession, but a slowdown, and risks like a government shutdown haven’t been priced in by markets.