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Swiss central bank hard hit by gold price fall

Switzerland's central bank said on Monday it lost billions in 2013 amid a sharp drop in gold prices and that it therefore would not pay dividends to Bern or the Swiss cantons. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) said it expected to report a loss of 9.0 billion Swiss francs ($9.9 billion, 7.3 billion euros) in 2013, according to provisional figures. But it had lost far more on the value of its gold holdings, which shed 15 billion francs during a year when prices for the precious metal dropped by 28 percent.

Swiss central bank hard hit by gold price fall

Switzerland's central bank said on Monday it lost billions in 2013 amid a sharp drop in gold prices and that it therefore would not pay dividends to Bern or the Swiss cantons. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) said it expected to report a loss of 9.0 billion Swiss francs ($9.9 billion, 7.3 billion euros) in 2013, according to provisional figures. But it had lost far more on the value of its gold holdings, which shed a w15 billion francs during a year when prices for the precious metal dropped by 28 percent.

France issues arrest warrant for Swiss bank founder

French judges have issued an arrest warrant for the founder of Swiss bank Reyl and Cie, which is under investigation for tax fraud, a source close to the case said Friday. The warrant came after Dominique Reyl failed to turn up for questioning by investigating magistrates on December 11 and instead sent a letter apologising for his absence, the source said. Reyl and Cie is at the heart of a scandal that saw former French budget minister Jerome Cahuzac resign for keeping undeclared funds in Switzerland and Singapore.

Swiss private bank EFG says will join US tax deal

ZURICH (Reuters) - EFG International on Friday became the latest Swiss bank to say it would work with U.S. officials in a crackdown on wealthy Americans evading taxes through hidden offshore accounts. The Zurich-based bank said it had decided to participate in the scheme - brokered by the Swiss and U.S. governments in August - to make amends for aiding tax evasion, in keeping with recommendations from Swiss regulators.

Basler Kantonalbank to take $112.74 million provision for U.S. tax

ZURICH (Reuters) - Basler Kantonalbank said it will take a 100 million Swiss franc ($112.74 million) provision against full-year earnings to cover legal costs and fines from a U.S. crackdown on tax evasion. The Basel-based bank said it expected full-year profit to be roughly half the 255.7 million francs it reported 2012, but that its ability to pay out a year-end dividend to shareholders and its majority owner, the local government, is not affected.

Russia tsar letters fetch nearly $850,000 in Geneva

More than 230 letters from Russian tsars and their families, packed with the secrets of the imperial court, have sold in Geneva for ten times their asking price, auctioneers said Tuesday. The unpublished letters from Nicolas I, Alexander II and their relatives fetched 743,000 Swiss francs ($835,000, 605,000 euros) -- far above the estimate of 60,000-80,000 francs. According to auction house Hotel Des Ventes (HDV), most were purchased by the same buyer at Monday night's sale.

Swiss money pool goes on sale

Fancy taking a dip in a sea of Swiss francs, or scooping up fistfuls of coins? Your wildest dreams could come true thanks to a sale with a political edge. Would-be buyers have a chance to snap up a century-old huge safe deposit vault containing eight million five centime coins, or 400,000 Swiss francs (325,000 euros, $441,000).

Bayern boss Hoeness to face trial on tax charges

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness will face trial next March on charges he hid millions of euros from tax authorities in a Swiss bank account, a court said Monday. The superior regional court in Munich said in a statement that it had agreed to hear the case brought by public prosecutors in July and that proceedings would start on March 10. "The 61-year-old president of FC Bayern is accused by Munich prosecutors of tax evasion," the court said.

Bayern boss Hoeness to face trial on tax charges

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness will face trial next March on charges he hid millions of euros from tax authorities in a Swiss bank account, a court said Monday. The superior regional court in Munich said in a statement that it had agreed to hear the case brought by public prosecutors in July and that proceedings would start on March 10. "The 61-year-old president of FC Bayern is accused by Munich prosecutors of tax evasion," the court said.

Swiss central bank takes hard hit as gold prices tumble

Switzerland's central bank said Thursday it had lost billions during the first nine months of the year amid a sharp drop in gold prices. From January through September, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) said it had suffered a consolidated loss of 6.4 billion Swiss francs (5.1 billion euros, $7.1 billion). The loss meanwhile shrunk compared to the 7.3-billion-franc hit the central bank said it had taken during the first half of the year.
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