Foreign Investments

What are International Investments?

The Swiss National Bank draws a distinction between ‘direct investment' and ‘portfolio investment'. Direct investment refers to general capital outlays from an investor made for the purpose of influencing the business activities of a company abroad in a direct and lasting manner. Statistically, international direct investment includes the following two cases: formation of a subsidiary or branch office abroad or an investor shareholding with voting rights of at least 10% in a foreign company. In contrast, portfolio investment occurs when capital is invested abroad without the intention of directly influencing company management. Examples of portfolio investment include: debt certificates (money market securities, bonds), dividend-paying securities (shares, participation certificates, profit certificates) and mutual fund certificates.

Specialist staff
Last modification 27.01.2023

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State Secretariat for Economy SECO
International Investment & Multinational Enterprises
Holzikofenweg 36
3003 Bern

Phone:    +41 58 463 12 75

E-mail : afin(at)

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