GRENCHEN, Switzerland May 14 The Swiss National
Bank should consider negative deposit rates to help businesses
that are struggling under the strong Swiss franc, the chief
executive of the world's biggest watchmaker, Swatch,
said on Wednesday.
The SNB capped the franc at 1.20 per euro in September 2011
to help stave off recession and the threat of deflation after
investors seeking a safe-haven from the euro zone crisis pushed
the currency to record highs.
But the franc remains strong and is putting some Swiss
businesses under pressure, including the country's watch
industry which produces almost exclusively in Switzerland and
exports most of its products, making its wares more expensive
Swatch Chief Executive Nick Hayek, speaking after the Swiss
company's annual shareholder meeting in Grenchen in northwest
Switzerland, said the SNB should take notice of the European
Central Bank, which is reported to be considering negative
"It's funny that the ECB is proposing these things and I
would wonder if the Swiss National Bank would not have thought
about trying to go in this direction also," Nick Hayek told
journalists, while smoking one of his signature cigars.
"It's perhaps the moment to think out loud," he added.
"There are moments to think out loud to put perhaps the people
into a certain mood, to create some insecurities for people who
think (the cap) will always continue like this," added Hayek,
who has been one of the most outspoken business leaders about
the impact of the strong franc.
(Reporting by Joshua Franklin; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)