Zurich

Federer twins make their photo debut on Facebook

Federer twins make their photo debut on FacebookZurich - Tiny Charlene Riva and Myla Rose made their photo debut Friday as proud parents Roger Federer and Mirka Vavrinec published the first picture of their new arrivals on Facebook.

While eager to explain the trials and minor tribulations of snapping a picture of the two-week-old infants, Federer dropped zero hints about whether he plans to play in the Montreal Masters from Monday.

But that small mystery will be solved later when the draw is made in Canada.

Brazil maintain lead in football rankings

Brazil maintain lead in football rankingsZurich - Brazil retained their lead and there was only one change in the top 10 in the latest world football rankings issued on Wednesday by the ruling body FIFA.

Brazil returned to the top last month and have 1,642 points to rank ahead of former leaders Spain (1,590) and the Netherlands (1,379).

Germany climbed from fifth to fourth with 1,195 points at the expense of Italy (1,181) in the only top 10 change. The other top teams are Russia (1,161), England (1,135), Argentina (1,080), France (1,059) and Croatia (1,031). (dpa)

Federer's wife Mirka gives birth to twins

Federer's wife Mirka gives birth to twinsZurich  - World number one and 15-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer is the father of twin girls after his wife Mirka Vavrinec gave birth in Switzerland on Thursday.

The girls have been named Charlene Riva and Myla Rose.

"This is the greatest day of our lives," Federer said on his website.

"Mirka, Myla and Charlene are all healthy and doing very well."

China's BAIC drops out of Opel talks

General Motors, OpelZurich  - China's Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Company (BAIC) is out of the bidding race for General Motors' (GM) European offshoot Opel, the US car giant confirmed Thursday.

"We have agreed to continue the negotiations to secure the future of Opel with Magna and RHJI," said John Smith, who is leading the talks on behalf of GM.

Rival bids from Canadian-Austrian car parts manufacturer Magna and RHJI, the European offshoot of US investor Ripplewood, were the focus of a 4-hour meeting with politicians in Berlin the previous day.

FIFA fines Ivorian FA, restricts number of spectators

FIFA fines Ivorian FA, restricts number of spectatorsZurich  - Football's governing body FIFA on Wednesday announced that they had fined the football association of Ivory Coast after 22 fans died during a World Cup qualifying match between the Ivory Coast and Malawi in March.

In a statement released in Zurich, FIFA said that the organization's disciplinary committee had finalized an investigation into the tragedy outside the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan.

Fewer millionaires and super-rich in the world, study finds

Fewer millionaires and super-rich in the world, study finds Zurich - The number of millionaires in the world dropped last year by nearly 15 per cent in the wake of the global economic meltdown, according to the World Wealth Report published Wednesday.

There are now around 8.6 million millionaires, the survey, now its 13th year, found.

While the United States remained the world leader with the largest number of millionaires, China was moving up the ranks and placed fourth, behind Japan and Germany, out-seating Britain for the first time.

FIFA president Blatter dismisses disagreement with WADA head

The president of football's world body FIFA Joseph BlatterZurich (dpa) - The president of football's world body FIFA Joseph Blatter on Tuesday dismissed speculation that he had a personal disagreement with the president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) John Fahey.

In a statement issued by FIFA after a telephone conversation between the two, FIFA said that the issue of doping will feature at its upcoming congress in Nassau (Bahamas).

FIFA accepts new crowd control measures after stadium deaths

FIFA accepts new crowd control measures after stadium deathsZurich - Football's governing body FIFA on Friday announced that in the wake of the latest stadium disaster in the Ivory Coast during which at least 22 fans died in March the organization had accepted new crowd control measures.

In a statement issued in Zurich, FIFA said that their Stadium and Security Committee decided that, with immediate effect, games would only be started if there were no confirmed cases of security issues.

Spain maintains big lead in FIFA rankings

Spain maintains big lead in FIFA rankings Zurich - European champion Spain maintained its massive lead atop the latest world football rankings issued on Wednesday by the ruling body FIFA.

Spain leads the way in an unchanged top 10 with 1,729 points from Germany (1,362), the Netherlands (1,360), Brazil (1,281), world champion Italy (1,271), Argentina (1,195), Croatia (1,151), Russia (1,117) and France (1,074). (dpa)

Second ticketing phase of World Cup to start on Monday

Second ticketing phase of World Cup to start on MondayZurich - Football's governing body FIFA on Thursday announced that the second phase for World Cup tickets will start on Monday.

In a statement FIFA said that approximately 100,000 tickets will be made available during the phase. However, there will be no tickets for the semi-final and final matches of next year's World Cup finals.

Applications can be made at a bank in South Africa or via the FIFA website (www. FIFA. com).

UBS confirms slashing 2,000 jobs in US

 UBS confirms slashing 2,000 jobs in US Zurich  - UBS, the troubled Swiss banking giant, confirmed reports Thursday that it was in the process of cutting 2,000 jobs in its wealth management division in the United States.

"This part of the headcount reduction initiative," said a UBS spokesman in Switzerland.

The company, the largest manager of wealth in the world, announced earlier this month that it will take a first-quarter loss of almost 2

billion Swiss francs (1.7 billion dollars) and cut 8,700 jobs worldwide by 2010, including over 2,000 in its base of Switzerland.

Credit Suisse says on road to recovery

Credit Suisse says on road to recovery Zurich - A day after announcing surprising first quarter profits of about 2 billion Swiss francs (1.7 billion dollars), the chairman of Credit Suisse said Friday his bank was on the path to recovery.

"We believe that despite our 2008 loss, Credit Suisse is today better positioned than it was 12 months ago," Walter B. Kielholz told shareholders.

The bank lost 8.2 billion francs in 2008, the largest in Credit Suisse's history but has not required a state capital injection or a bail-out, unlike its closest competitor UBS.

Credit Suisse to compensate more clients exposed to Lehman

Credit Suisse to compensate more clients exposed to LehmanZurich  - Credit Suisse said Tuesday it would compensate more clients who invested in Lehman Brothers' financial products, which have lost all their value since the investment bank's collapse last September.

A deal was reached with the Swiss consumer group Federation Romande des Consommateurs for clients who had assets up to 500,000 Swiss francs (427,758 dollars) as of August 31 last year and had invested over 20 per cent of those assets in capital-protected Lehman products.

UBS to sell Brazilian arm for 2.5 billion dollars

UBSZurich - UBS announced Monday it had agreed to sell its Brazilian financial services business, UBS Pactual, for approximately 2.5 billion dollars to BTG Investments, in an attempt to raise capital.

In a statement the Swiss bank said the sale, which would result in a "small loss," was part of a strategy to reduce its risk profile and improve its balance sheet.

Also, the sale will strengthen by 1.3 billion dollars its Tier 1 capital, which had been slipping in recent months, UBS said. The tier 1 capital ratio is considered an important indicator of a bank's financial strength

Pevenage: doping in Austria was an open secret in cycling

Pevenage: doping in Austria was an open secret in cyclingZurich  - Blood doping in Austria, and elsewhere, was an open secret in the cycling community, the former advisor of ex-Tour de France champion Jan Ullrich said in an interview published on Thursday.

Speaking in the wake of allegations that a Vienna blood bank was part of a doping scheme in Austria, Rudy Pevenage told Swiss daily Neue Zuercher Zeitung (NZZ) that "many in cycling knew three years ago that there was a nest in Vienna."

ROUNDUP: UBS to cut 8,700 jobs after announcing more losses Eds: Adds analyst, writedown details

UBSZurich  - The Swiss banking giant UBS said Wednesday it will take a first-quarter loss of almost 2 billion Swiss francs (1.7 billion dollars) and will cut 8,700 jobs worldwide by 2010.

"Unfortunately I am not able, as yet, to offer you any good news," Oswald Grubel, chief executive officer of the UBS Group, told shareholders at the annual meeting while pledging to return to profitability.

The crisis, he said, "was not over," and would likely lead UBS to being a smaller bank. Previously at the UBS rival Credit Suisse, Grubel took over his role in February.

UBS to cut 8,700 jobs after announcing more losses

UBS Zurich - The Swiss banking giant UBS said Wednesday it will take a first quarter loss of almost 2 billion Swiss francs (1.7 billion dollars) and will cut 8,700 jobs worldwide by 2010. "Unfortunately I am not able, as yet, to offer you any good news," Oswald Grubel, Chief Executive Officer of the UBS Group was expected to tell shareholders later at an annual meeting. He took over his role in February this year.

Most of the new losses were in further writedowns and cash outflows in its wealth management divisions.

Spain with record lead in FIFA rankings

Spain with record lead in FIFA rankingsZurich - Spain has built up a record lead atop the world football rankings, issued on Wednesday by the governing body FIFA, courtesy of its latest two victories.

The Euro 2008 champions defeated Turkey twice in World Cup qualifiers, 1-0 on March 28 and 2-1 on April 1, to stretch their unbeaten run to 31 games and lead the FIFA list with 1,729 points.

FIFA said that the 367-point advantage over second-placed Germany (1,362) is the biggest lead since the rankings which take into account national team games were introduced in 1993.

Fed agrees to currency swaps to provide liquidity

Fed agrees to currency swaps to provide liquidity Zurich  - Four key central banks have agreed to provide foreign currency to the Federal Reserve so that it can pump liquidity into financial institutions in need of capital, the Swiss National Bank said Monday.

Should the need arise, the Fed would be able to access euro, yen, sterling and Swiss francs through the new swap agreements, which come on top of previous commitments, with the European Central Bank, Bank of Japan, Bank of England and the Swiss National Bank.

UBS blocking some employees from leaving Switzerland

UBS blocking some employees from leaving Switzerland Zurich  - The Swiss banking giant UBS was preventing some 1,000 of its wealth management personnel from leaving the country owing to legal concerns, local media reported Sunday.

Those advisers can longer visit their clients abroad and if a meeting is needed, it would have to take place in Switzerland.

Spokespersons for the bank said travel abroad to meet clients in the cross-border wealth management division had been suspended.

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