The Swiss franc is like gold, says BNP Paribas's Hans Redeker: a classic safe haven. No wonder, then, that Germans rattled by the euro crisis and fearing an ever-weaker single currency have been pouring across the border in droves of late. So much so that the Swiss franc has hit a lifetime record of CHF1.31 to the euro.
The Swiss National Bank's decision to stop trying to hold down the franc's value by selling it for euros has also provided a fillip; the Swiss had wanted to temper franc gains to prevent deflation taking hold, but now the central bank thinks the threat of deflation has "practically disappeared".
While the central bank could well intervene again to stop the franc rising too quickly, there is plenty of scope for further gains against the euro. Switzerland's economy should grow by 2.3% next year, while its public debt is a mere 41% of GDP.
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It should also raise interest rates before the eurozone, says Mansoor Mohi-uddin of UBS. He reckons that the franc will eventually become "the new proxy for the old German mark".
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