Bild: Keystone
Bild: Keystone
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Local News Summary of April, 12th

  • Sulzer targeted by US banks as well as UBS and CS
  • Klybeckstrasse: accident causes major damage to parked vehicles
  • «Catch a Car» electrifies its Basel car fleet

Sulzer targeted by US banks as well as UBS and CS

The US sanctions against Russian oligarchs and companies will have consequences for Sulzer. The bank accounts of the Swiss industrial group in the USA have been frozen. The big banks UBS and Credit Suisse (CS) are also no longer trading in Sulzer shares.

Several traders from other banks on the Zurich stock exchange confirmed these measures to the AWP news agency. «UBS stopped trading Sulzer shares yesterday, and CS has stopped trading since today,» it was stated. Other banks are considering similar steps.

Sulzer announced on Monday that it would buy back five million of its own shares from its major shareholder, Renova. After completion of the transaction, Renova would still hold 48,83 per cent of shares instead of 63,4 per cent. «If the placement can be settled, the situation may change again quickly», said one trader.

When asked, a UBS spokesperson declined to provide a comment to the AWP news agency about the bank's trading in Sulzer shares. He also did not want to give the media any information about what happens when a UBS client places a Sulzer order to buy or sell. He pointed out a statement by the Bank regarding sanctions.

UBS emphasizes that as a global financial services provider, they are required to adhere to a wide range of legal and regulatory requirements. A standard had been defined, according to which «at least the sanctions currently issued by Switzerland, the UN, the EU, and the USA are taken into account and implemented worldwide».

High-volume Sulzer shares continued to fall sharply in early trading yesterday, dropping by 6,6 per cent to 99.45 Swiss francs on Wednesday noon. Last Friday, when the US government had announced the sanctions, Sulzer shares had still closed at around 126 francs.

New business not allowed in dollars

Yesterday, Sulzer spokesperson Rainer Weihofen confirmed reports in the «Nordwestschweiz» newspaper that Sulzer’s accounts in the USA had been frozen. He emphasised that the restrictions been taken by the banks. «Sulzer is not on the list of US authorities.»

These bank restrictions are also a consequence of last Friday’s US sanctions imposed on Russian companies and businessmen. The investor and major shareholder of Sulzer, Viktor Vekselberg, who lives in Switzerland, is also among those on the list.

Sulzer can continue to pay wages and suppliers, but is otherwise not allowed to make payments in dollars or enter new business agreements, it was stated. According to Mr Weihofen, Sulzer can still serve customers in the USA, but only if corresponding contracts were concluded before Friday of last week.

Sulzer remains “confident”

According to Mr Weihofen, Sulzer’s hope of being exempt from sanctions within the course of this week is intact. «We are confident», he said, confirming statements that he had already been made on Monday.

Sulzer employees in the US are in close contact with the OFAC authority (office of foreign assets control). The discussions are said to be “constructive”. However, the results could “take some time”.

Viktor Vekselberg, a multi-billionaire, owns the Renova Group as well as numerous holdings, including the Swiss companies Sulzer, Oerlikon, and Schmolz+Bickenbach.


Klybeckstrasse: accident causes major damage to parked vehicles

The police are looking for witnesses after a semitrailer swerved into two parked delivery vans, causing serious damage.

The accident happened between 7.30am and 8.30am on Tuesday morning, at the Klybeckstrasse/Sperrstrasse junction. The semitrailer was travelling along Haltingerstrasse through Klybeckstrasse before it turned left into Sperrstrasse. While making the turn, the rear of the vehicle swung out to the right and struck two vans.

Anyone who can provide relevant information about the accident is asked to contact the traffic police on phone number 061 699 12 12 or via


«Catch a Car» electrifies its Basel car fleet

The Swiss car sharing provider «Catch a Car» has introduced its first e-cars. As of yesterday (Tuesday), additional electric cars have becomeavailable for members in Basel. The extension of the car fleet has come after close cooperation with the city of Basel and the Industrial Works of Basel (IWB), which is currently building a network of public charging stations. In public car parks.

For «Catch a Car», the introduction of e-cars is the next step on the road to the city of the future: a city that is free of exhaust fumes and noise by sharing fully electrified cars.

Christoph Sollberger, manager for e-mobility at IWB, is pleased: «We are working closely together with ‘Catch a Car’ to advance electric mobility as well as to give additional strength to Basel's pioneering role in this area,” he said.

René Maeder, CEO of «Catch a Car», is also enthusiastic. «Basel was the first city to make station-independent car sharing possible. Now, we are looking forward to taking the next step into the city of the future together with the authorities,» he said.

10,000 members

The first «Catch a Car» e-cars have been introduced as part of an expansion of the Basel fleet. Members now have 150 instead of 120 vehicles at their disposal. The reason for this increase is the continuously growing number of users of the car sharing provider: Only recently the ten thousandth member was welcomed at «Catch a Car».

Hans-Peter Wessels, head of the construction and transport department of the canton of Basel-Stadt, said the future “belongs to e-mobility and car sharing”.

“‘Catch a Car’ has recognized the needs of Basel’s population and is therefore making a significant contribution to relieving the streets, parking lots, and reducing noise in Basel-Stadt.»