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”]

UK AIMS TO BECOME BEST PLACE TO START AND GROW A DIGITAL BUSINESS

Image result for UK AIMS TO BECOME "BEST PLACE TO START AND GROW A DIGITAL BUSINESS"

The UK Government has set out its strategy to grow the economic contribution of digital businesses from £118bn to £200bn by 2025 in a wide-ranging document aiming to make the UK the best place to start and grow a digital business.

The raft of objectives covering infrastructure, education, data and security, public services and other areas aims to accelerate growth of the UK’s estimated 200,000 digital enterprises which are believed to support 1.4m UK jobs.This includes fast-growing digital centres in Southhampton, West Cornwall and Dundee and key northern cities, as well as the the biggest cluster of digital businesses in London and south east. Digital sectors also attracted a record £1.57bn of equity finance in 2015, more than four times the level of 2011.

The report lists six UK sectors in which the country is globally leading – artificial intelligence, cyber security, Fin  Tech, gaming, virtual reality, and Gov Tech – and other sectors, such as advertising and design, in which a fusion of digital and creative expertise give the UK an international lead. Developing areas such as the Internet of Things, Autonomous Vehicle Technologies, Health Tech and Ed Tech are seen as providing further opportunities.

As part of its seven strand digital strategy, the Government aims to:

  • Improve digital infrastructure by completing the rollout of 4G and superfast broadband, and giving every individual, business and premise the right to request  affordable high speed brodband;
  • Establish a new digital skills partnership and adopt the recommendations of a review to ensure computer science students have up to date, real world skills;
  • Use its Autumn 2016 pledge to invest £4.7bn in R&D funding by 2020-21 to ensure British business benefits from scientific and technological breakthroughs;
  • Support the work of a new Productivity Council to encourage appropriate use of technologies across the economy;
  • Support the National Cyber Security Centre and introduce new active cyber defence approach;
  • Implement the Government Transformation Strategy, including by working towards 25m GOV.UK users by 2020;
  • Act to make the UK a world-leading, data-driven economy, including by implementing the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation by May 2018.

The strategy applies the framework set out by the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy green paper, published in January 2017.

Announcing the digital strategy, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, the Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP said:“This Digital Strategy applies this framework to the digital economy across the whole country. It will boost our world-leading digital sectors and overcome barriers to growth and innovation, creating more of the high-skilled, high paid jobs of the future. It will deliver the first-class digital infrastructure and advanced skills base that businesses across the country need to be able to take advantage of digital tools.”

[Source:- thecreativeindustries]

Who are the virtual reality and augmented reality startups in the UK? Meet 28 of the country’s best

AR and VR startups: Blippar

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) revenues are set to rocket from £4.2 billion in 2016 to more than £130 billion in 2020 according to research from the International Data Corporation.

The UK plays home to a number of emerging players in the industry hoping to cash in on the boom. A recent report by GrowthEnabler estimated that of more than 800 companies working in the segment worldwide, more than 150 are based in the Britain.

Here’s our pick of the ones to watch out for.

[Source:- Techworld]

 

UK cities nowhere in sight in world’s quality of living rankings

Vienna, Austria

Vienna’s rents and public transport costs are cheap compared with other western capitals CREDIT: REX

Vienna, Austria’s grand capital on the Danube river, has topped consulting firm Mercer’s list of cities offering the highest quality of life for the eighth year in a row, while Baghdad is again considered the worst place to live.

Meanwhile London, together with other global centres Paris, Tokyo and New York City did not even make the top 30, lagging behind most big German, Scandinavian, Canadian, New Zealand and Australian cities. The England and UK capital ranked 40th, two spots behind its French counterpart.

The survey of 231 cities helps companies and organisations determine compensation and hardship allowances for international staff. It uses dozens of criteria such as political stability, health care, education, crime, recreation and transport.

Singapore was the highest ranked Asian city, at 25 while 29th-placed San Francisco was the United States’ highest entry. Top of the list in Africa was South Africa’s Durban at 87.

Top five cities by region
Top five cities by region

Vienna’s 1.8 million inhabitants benefit from the city’s cafe culture and museums, theatres and operas. Rents and public transport costs in the city, whose architecture is marked by its past as the centre of the Habsburg empire, are cheap compared with other western capitals.

Switzerland’s Zurich, New Zealand’s Auckland, Germany’s Munich and Canada’s Vancouver followed Vienna in the top five of most pleasant cities to live in.

Two bombs have exploded in a busy market area in central Baghdad
A busy market area in central Baghdad after an explosion  CREDIT: AFP

Baghdad was again ranked lowest in the world. Waves of sectarian violence have swept through the Iraqi capital since the US-led invasion in 2003.

Six years into Syria’s bloody war, Damascus was ranked seventh from bottom, with Bangui in the Central African Republic, Yemeni capital Sanaa, Haiti’s Port-au-Prince, Sudan’s Khartoum and Chad’s N’Djamena filling out the end of the list.

 

Top ten cities

  1. Vienna (Austria)
  2. Zurich (Switzerland)
  3. Auckland (New Zealand)
  4. Munich (Germany)
  5. Vancouver (Canada)
  6. Dusseldorf (Germany)
  7. Frankfurt (Germany)
  8. Geneva (Switzerland)
  9. Copenhagen (Denmark)
  10. Basel (Switzerland) and Sydney (Australia)

Bottom ten cities

231. Baghdad (Iraq)

230. Bangui (Central African Republic)

229. Sana’a (Yemen)

228. Port au Prince (Haiti)

227. Khartoum (Sudan)

226. N’djamena (Chad)

225. Damascus (Syria)

224. Brazzaville (Congo)

223. Kinshasa (Democratic Rep. of the Congo_

222. Conakry Guinea

UK ranking

40. London

45. Edinburgh

53. Birmingham and Glasgow

58. Aberdeen

[“Source-“]