The loss of the stock market equivalency on July 1 was Brussels’ warning signal to Switzerland to get back to the negotiating table. Thus far, though, the effect has been positive, with trading volumes on the SIX up. In the short term, it should remain this way, according to SIX CEO Jos Dijsselhof, who sees positive top-line growth for the second half of the year.

Wanted: tenants for empty homes
The number of empty homes in Switzerland rose by 4.2 percent year-on-year to 75,323 in June, official figures show. While this represented a slightly slower pace than the previous year, Ursina Kubli, head of real estate analytics at ZKB, says don’t get too comfortable: the vacancy rate hasn’t reached its peak yet.

Why J.P. Morgan doesn’t expect another late-year sell-off
Investors remain pessimistic despite a “fantastic year” for markets, says David Stubbs, chief strategist at J.P. Morgan International Private Bank. That’s one reason he doesn’t expect a repeat of the late sell-off that wiped out 2018 gains.

Why Switzerland needs Africa
If Switzerland wants to play a major role in Africa, now’s the time, but Africans will want to see a commitment, says South African energy lawyer and author NJ Ayuk. “Africans want to get married,” he says. “They don’t just want to date.”

Debate over Belt and Road Initiative reaches new heights in Andermatt
Leaders from countries in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe met in Andermatt over the weekend to push through sustainable development guidelines for China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Margret Kiener Nellen, national councillor and head of the Swiss delegation, argued that Switzerland has the expertise to shape the discussions on challenges such as potential corruption.

Visions can be powerful growth engines
The Belt and Road Initiative: The numbers are already in place: 71 countries are involved, representing more than half of the global population, it is worth noting. Its value now exceeds 1 trillion dollars.

Will an ECB rate cut matter?
Markets are gearing up for a round of rate cuts, starting next week with the European Central Bank. Alastair McCaig, Fern Wealth’s director of investment management, isn’t convinced that a deeper cut will have any effect, arguing that it could even be counterproductive.