Money in Swiss banks: India continues to slip, stays at 88th place in 2016; UK on top

Zurich/New Delhi: India has slipped to 88th place in terms of money parked by its citizens with Swiss banks, while the UK remains on the top.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Also, the money officially held by Indians with banks in Switzerland now accounts for a meagre 0.04 percent of the total funds kept by all foreign clients in the Swiss banking system, as per an analysis of the latest figures compiled by the SNB (Swiss National Bank) as on 2016-end.

India was placed at 75th position in 2015 and at 61st in the year before that, though it used to be among top-50 countries in terms of holdings in Swiss banks till 2007. The country was ranked highest at 37th place in the year 2004.

The latest data from Zurich-based SNB comes ahead of a new framework for automatic exchange of information between Switzerland and India to help check the black money menace. The funds, described by SNB as ‘liabilities’ of Swiss banks or ‘amounts due to’ their clients, are the official figures disclosed by the Swiss authorities and do not indicate to the quantum of the much-debated alleged black money held by Indians in the safe havens of Switzerland.

SNB’s official figures also do not include the money that Indians, NRIs or others might have in Swiss banks in the names of entities from different countries. There is a view that the Indians alleged to have parked their illicit money in Swiss banks in the past may have shifted the funds to other locations after a global clampdown began on the mighty banking secrecy practices in Switzerland.

Swiss banks have also said Indians have “few deposits” in Swiss banks compared to other global financial hubs like Singapore and Hong Kong amid stepped-up efforts to check the black money menace. The total money held in Swiss banks by foreign clients from across the world, incidentally rose by a small margin from 1.41 trillion Swiss francs (CHF) to CHF 1.42 trillion during 2016.

In terms of individual countries, the UK accounted for the largest chunk at about CHF 359 (over 25 percent) of the total foreign money with Swiss banks. The US came second with nearly CHF 177 billion or about 14 percent No other country accounted for a double-digit percentage share, while others in the top-ten included West Indies, France, Bahamas, Germany, Guernsey, Jersey, Hong Kong and Luxembourg.

Indians’ share not even one-hundredth of the total money. India is now ranked 88th with 676 million Swiss francs (about Rs4,500 crore)—a record low after falling for three consecutive years amid a continuing clampdown on the suspected black money stashed behind their famed secrecy walls.

The share of Indians’ money in the total foreign funds of Swiss banks also fell to 0.04 percent (from 0.08 percent in 2015). Pakistan continued to remain placed higher than India at 71st place (although down from 69th in 2015) with about CHF 1.4 billion—though down to below 0.1% of total foreign money parked with Swiss banks.

India was also the lowest ranked among the BRICS nations—Russia was ranked 19th (CHF 15.6 billion), China 25th (CHF 9.6 billion), Brazil 52nd (CHF 2.7 billion) and South Africa 61st (CHF 2.2 billion). Among these five, only China has moved up. Others ranked higher than India included Mauritius, Iran, Morocco, Kenya, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Angola, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Canada and Mexico.

A number of offshore financial centres are also ranked higher including Cayman Islands, Panama, Cyprus, Marshall Islands, Bermuda, Seychelles, Isle of Man and Gibraltar. Among India’s neighbouring countries, Bangladesh was ranked 89th (CHF 667.5 million), while Nepal was 150th (CHF 312 million), Sri Lanka was 151st (CHF 307 million) and Bhutan was way below at 282nd (about half a million Swiss francs).

The total money belonging to the developed countries fell to CHF 824 billion, while those from developing nations actually rose marginally to CHF 208 million. The money from developing economies in Asia-Pacific region rose to CHF 50 billion.

The funds parked in Swiss banks from offshore financial centres rose to CHF 389 billion. India was ranked in top-50 continuously between 1996 and 2007, but started declining after that—55th in 2008, 59th in 2009 and 2010 each, 55th again in 2011, 71st in 2012 and then to 58th in 2013.

[“Source-.firstpost”]

Pokemon Go Finally Launches in Japan as India Continues to Wait

Pokemon Go Finally Launches in Japan as India Continues to Wait

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Pokemon Go was initially launched in US, Australia and New Zealand
  • The delay in Japan launch was caused due to server overloading issues
  • India is still waiting for Pokemon Go’s official launch

Eager Japanese rushed to their phones on Friday to start hunting as the Pokemon Go mobile game finally launched in Japan, bringing the record-setting global hit to the home of the Pokemon characters.

After several days of rumours that the launch was imminent, Japan – one of the world’s biggest gaming markets – joined the United States, Canada, Australia and more than 30 countries in Europe in playing the “augmented-reality” game by Nintendo Co Ltd in which players interact with virtual characters in the real world.

The unexpected hit has doubled Nintendo’s value since its US launch earlier this month.

(Also see: How to Download Pokemon Go APK, Install, and Play on Android)

Junichi Masuda, head of development at Game Freak, and co-creator of the game, apologised in a video announcement on the Internet for keeping players waiting so long in the land where Pokemon was first born two decades ago.

(Also see: Pokemon Go iOS: How to Download Pokemon Go for iPhone, iPad)

“From today you can go out and find Pokemon to your heart’s content,” he said.

“We hope the game enables users to see the world in a new, fulfilling way. Obey the rules and have fun.”

(Also see: How to Play Pokemon Go in India? Here’s Everything You Need to Know)

Initial attempts to download the game took some time, but before long players were starting to hunt and capture the monsters, which showed up even in ordinary offices.

“This game is just as I imagined it to be, it’s really fun,” said Toshinori Ishibashi, 18, who was seen playing the game near a Pokemon goods store in Tokyo Station.

“It’s also a great reason to go outside, so I’m really enjoying it.”

(Also see: Pokemon Go: How to Catch Pikachu)

The game was created by Nintendo, Niantic, and Pokemon Co. Nintendo owns a third of Pokemon Co, and both have undisclosed stakes in Niantic.

McDonald’s Holdings Co Japan Ltd teamed up for the launch and said its nearly 3,000 shops across Japan would serve as spots where Pokemon can be battled or “trained” in the game – but added a very Japanese caveat.

(Also see: Pokemon Go Needs These 6 Features for Continued Success in India and Elsewhere)

“Ultimately, McDonald’s is a restaurant,” said a company spokesman. “We will call on players not to become a bother to customers who are eating.”

The Japanese government on Thursday issued a safety warning, with the country’s National Center for Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity (NISC) giving nine instructions to users of the mobile game, ranging from advising them not to use their real names to warning about heat stroke in the muggy Japanese summer.

(Also see: This Pokemon Go Map Will Show You Every Pokemon Location)

Nintendo shares climbed more than 4 percent in Tokyo trading on Friday, while shares of McDonald’s Japan surged 7.2 percent.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Tags: Android, Apple, Gaming, iOS, Japan, Niantic, Nintendo, Pokemon, Pokemon Go

 

[“Source-Gadgets”]

India Continues to Lead in Global Confidence Index: Nielsen

New Delhi: For the sixth quarter in a row, India continued to lead the global confidence index in anticipation of improvement in the economy through reforms and stimulus announced by the central government, says a report.

According to global information and insights provider Nielsen, in the first quarter of 2015, India’s consumer confidence score rose to 130 followed by Indonesia (123) and Philippines (115).

While, the consumer confidence in urban India has increased by 9 points from first quarter in 2014 (121), 44 per cent of respondents polled feel that India is still in “economic recession”.

The Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Index said that over four in five (83 per cent) urban Indian respondents indicated the highest level of optimism globally on job prospects in the next 12 months compared with 74 per cent in first quarter in 2014.

“The urban Indian has seen ups and downs in consumer sentiment over the last few years, in this round it is a positive sentiment in anticipation of improvement through reforms and stimulus announced by the new government.

These initial signs of optimism reflect anticipation of economic recovery that are yet to manifest when you look at fast-moving consumer goods and auto sectors in particular over the last few quarters,” Nielsen India Region President Piyush Mathur said in a statement.

As per the survey, “Over three in five (65 per cent) online respondents polled indicated this is a good time to buy things they want and need, 11 per cent rise from corresponding quarter last quarter (53 per cent in fourth quarter of 2014).

“When it comes to investing spare cash, 64 per cent indicated it is a good time to put spare cash into savings, while 49 per cent of respondents polled purchasing new technology products.”

It said 79 per cent respondents have changed their spending habits to save on expenses.

“The top three avenues this quarter are saving on gas and electricity (49 per cent), spending less on new clothes (45 per cent), and cutting down on holidays and short breaks (35 per cent),” it added.

Eighty per cent urban Indian respondents indicated that the state of personal finances was good or excellent in the first quarter of 2015, four percentage points up from the same time last year (76 per cent in first quarter 2015).

However, top concerns remain job security (22 per cent), sustaining a work-life balance (11 per cent), followed by state of the economy (9 per cent).

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, established in 2005, measures consumer confidence, major concerns, and spending intentions among more than 30,000 respondents with Internet access in 60 countries.

Story first published on: May 21, 2015 16:25 (IST)

Tags: Global Confidence Index, Nielsen India Region, Nielsen, India, Indonesia

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