Bubble on the Swiss real estate market


Pierin Vincenz, former CEO of the Raiffeisen Group.

Pierin Vincenz, former CEO of the Raiffeisen Group.

Gian Ehrenzeller / KEYSTONE

(SDA) On Tuesday, the Zurich prosecutor’s office informed of the allegations against former Raiffeisen boss Pierin Vincenz. However, the prosecution remains under lock and key for the time being. Since the resulting information has already been made public, the Zurich District Court is now filing a criminal complaint.

The district court of Zurich announced on Friday that the court had evidence that the confidentiality obligation imposed by the prosecutor on the parties involved in the proceedings had been breached. Criminal charges will then be launched against unknown persons.

In recent days, the media have published details of the indictment, such as the amount of the sentence requested by the prosecutor, or details on the crimes of which the accused individual is accused.

According to the district court, the prosecution will remain under lock and key “until just before the trial”, which will take place next year. Only then will it be given to the media upon request. An earlier version is not justifiable against the background of the presumption of innocence.

According to a statement by the Public Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday, the main suspects are accused, among other things, of commercial fraud. At the heart of the proceedings are former Raiffeisen boss Pierin Vincenz and former Aduno boss Beat Stocker.

A construction worker on a construction site in Kloten, canton of Zurich.

A construction worker on a construction site in Kloten, canton of Zurich.

Steffen Schmidt / KEYSTONE

(awp / sda) The situation on the Swiss domestic market has worsened due to the Crown crisis. UBS’s housing bubble index has risen significantly and is now in the bubble area.

In particular, the so-called Swiss Real Estate Bubble Index rose in the third quarter of 2020 to 2.05 from 1.48 points in the previous quarter. The risk area begins at one index point, and two points are referred to as a housing bubble.

The rise was driven by the economic shock of the Corona crisis and should therefore be put into perspective, UBS writes in its message on Friday. However, sharp price increases would also have contributed to the imbalance.

According to the study, imbalances are now highly concentrated in the regions around the city of Zurich and central Switzerland. In these regions, both the relationship between house prices and annual rents and household income is significantly above the Swiss average.

Price increases over the past decade have also been significantly above average. According to the study, however, the regions of Pays d’Enhaut, Lugano and Saanen-Obersimmental are no longer in the danger zone.

For UBS real estate specialists, both the current price level and the dynamism of domestic mortgage lending are unsustainable. But in parallel with the expected economic recovery, the housing bubble index is expected to significantly exit the bubble risk zone again from 2021, he is reassured. According to forecasts, the index would again be well below 1.50 from the second half of 2021.

The UBS Swiss Real Estate Bubble Index consists of six sub-indices. These are “annual rental house prices”, “family income house prices”, “gross domestic product (GDP) construction activity”, “consumer price house prices”, “volume of income mortgages family “and” loan requests for rent (real estate investment) “.

(dpa) Lufthansa is starting initial tests to test all passengers for the corona virus before departure. Starting next Thursday (November 12), all passengers on individual flights between Munich and Hamburg will carry out a free rapid antigen test, as announced by the company on Friday in Frankfurt. Alternatively, passengers could submit a negative PCR test no older than 48 hours or be rebooked for free on another flight. Test results should be available after 30-60 minutes.

According to its CEO Carsten Spohr, Lufthansa has acquired 250,000 antigen tests to study the processes. Basically, the airline hopes to be able to offer more air connections again, especially abroad, with rapid tests. “Successful testing of entire flights may be the key to revitalizing international air traffic,” said board member Christina Foerster. The Lufthansa Group has already tested rapid tests on flights operated by the Austrian subsidiary between Berlin and Vienna.

Antigen tests provide faster, but so far less accurate results than PCR tests. Spohr assured that air traffic “does not want to take anything away from anyone”, especially not from people in the health and education system. But he is convinced that the pharmaceutical industry can quickly deliver significantly greater quantities of rapid tests than before.

(dpa) British low-cost airline Easyjet is getting new money from the Crown crisis by selling and leasing more aircraft. To bolster its financial strength, the company sold eleven other A320 aircraft and then leased them back for several years. According to information released on Friday, Easyjet earned 169.5 million dollars (145.64 million euros).

After the conclusion of this new leasing agreement, Easyjet claims it still has 141 unloaded aircraft, which represents approximately 41% of the fleet. The company sold and leased the planes for the last time in late October. Easyjet will continue to regularly check its liquidity position and examine financing options, he said.

In the financial year that ended in late September, Easyjet recorded the first annual loss in its history due to the Corona crisis and wants to forgo a dividend. At the end of September, after numerous capital measures, the airline had cash reserves of around £ 2.3 billion (€ 2.53 billion) and was sitting on a debt mountain of £ 1.1 billion.

(awp / sda) Autumn is far from golden for the Swiss tourism industry this year. As in the summer, more local guests were on vacation in the mountain regions. The absence of foreign guests could not make up for this, writes the Swiss Tourism Association on Friday.

According to a survey by the trade association, 55% of foreign guests were absent during the night. Even 15-20% more Swiss guests did not help. Business tourism in the cities has also been hit hard. Added to this were unfavorable weather conditions and the increase in travel restrictions in Europe, which resulted in a weaker result for October than in September.

Meanwhile, the season is good for owners of apartments and holiday homes. Interhome reports that the fall season has been good, with bookings from Swiss customers doubling in the past five months from the previous year, an Interhome spokesperson said.

(dpa) Ailing lighting company Osram and its Austrian majority shareholder AMS are in the red. Both companies reported significant losses for the final quarter on Friday, with AMS data also including results from the new Munich branch for the first time. However, both companies are optimistic about the future.

Osram chief Olaf Berlien said, “As expected, there have been gradual improvements in most business areas over the course of the fourth quarter,” he said. Furthermore, there are good orders coming in the important automotive sector for the current new financial year. Osram’s fiscal year is different from the calendar year and runs from October to September.

Compared to the same period last year, however, Osram’s current earnings figures look a little better, even though the loss from continuing operations in the fourth quarter was significant: 89 million euros after tax and 267 million euros euro throughout the year.

AMS also slipped into the red in the third quarter. In the second quarter, the Austrians, for which the fiscal year and the calendar year coincide, were still able to maintain their profit. The first consolidation of the new subsidiary also contributed to the net deficit of 125 million euros in the continuation of the business. Together, the companies achieved a healthy turnover of 1.2 billion euros.

AMS now wants to further integrate Osram quickly. After an extraordinary general meeting in Osram on Tuesday confirmed a dominance and profit and loss transfer agreement with the Austrians, this is expected to be implemented around the end of the year. Osram expects operations to be combined in early 2021.

According to Osram boss Olaf Berlien, it will be a long time before a possible so-called squeeze-out, in which the remaining shareholders are forced to leave the company. With current odds – according to the latest published data, the AMS is slightly above 70 percent – a squeeze-out is not even possible. It will take years to get there, especially since there is currently little reason for the remaining shareholders to sell their shares.

Berlien then assumes that Osram will hold his own annual press conferences over the next two years and possibly beyond. As for his own future, he said he intends to fulfill his contract, which has been ongoing for two and a half years. “I am very happy to be there,” he said. Only Thursday, Osram announced the departure of Chief Technology Officer Stefan Kampmann and the downsizing of the Executive Board from three to two people.

The Austrian sensor specialist AMS was successful last year after a long struggle with an acquisition offer for Osram. However, the agreement was only implemented in the summer after the approval of the competition authorities.

Berlien said of Osram’s loss of independence that the company had only been truly independent for seven years in its more than 100-year history. We are now well prepared for a common future with AMS.

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