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Switzerland: Equities

A special report prepared by Bank Sarasin & Co.




In 1995 Switzerland challenged the theory that securities trading is becoming more and more concentrated in three main financial centres, London, New York and Tokyo, by strengthening its position in terms of both market capitalization and trading volume. With a market capitalization in 1995 of Swfr458.6 billion and a turnover of Swfr374 billion, the Swiss equity market currently ranks sixth in international tables and third in Europe, a fair way behind the UK and Germany, but well ahead of Paris.

There are several reasons why the Swiss market manages to perform so well against the international competition. Apart from legal and technical changes, which will bring the Swiss market virtually into line with anglo-saxon stock market standards over the course of this year, the enduringly attractive combination of companies quoted on the Swiss stock exchange also plays a central role. One of the key features of the market is that the share index is dominated by Swiss multinationals and global success stories. The weighting of domestically-oriented companies in the index is small by comparison, and continues to decline.

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