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3. Financial risk management

Within the framework of the law, articles of incorporation and regulations, the investment manager carries out currency and security forward transactions, buys, sells and makes use of options as well as fulfills all necessary obligations that result from these businesses.

Credit risk

The Group is exposed to credit risk, which is the risk that a counterparty will be unable to pay amount in full when due. The Group measures credit risk and expected credit losses using probability of default, exposure at default and loss given default. The Group considers both historical analysis and forward looking information in determining any expected credit loss.

The Group manages and controls its credit risk by maintaining business relations only with counterparties with an acceptable credit rating. All transactions in securities are settled/paid for upon delivery using approved brokers. The risk of default is considered minimal, as delivery of securities sold is only made once the broker has received payment. Payment is made on a purchase once the securities have been received by the broker. The trade will fail if either party fails to meet its obligation. The Group’s credit positions, if any, are monitored on a daily basis by the investment manager and are reviewed on a regular basis by the Board of Directors.

As at December 31, 2023 and 2022, the ECL-impairment model did not have a material impact as (i) the majority of the financial assets are measured at fair value through profit or loss and the impairment requirements do not apply to such instruments; and (ii) the financial assets at amortized cost are short-term (no longer than 10 days). As a result, no loss allowance has been recognized.

Market risks

Risk associated with changing market prices

Due to its business activity and the resulting high portion of securities in relation to total assets, the Group is exposed to market price risk arising from uncertainties and fluctuations on the financial and foreign exchange markets.

The Group participates occassionaly, but to a substantial extent, in the capital of its investments. In the case of sales of large parts of these investments, it may be able to influence the market price. The Group’s securities positions are monitored on a daily basis by the investment manager and are reviewed on a regular basis by the Board of Directors.

The Group’s business is to invest in biotechnology companies with the purpose of capital appreciation. Consequently, it is exposed to market risks of this industry. The individual securities are disclosed in note 4 and the valuation is made at fair value. Consequently, any price changes are reflected accordingly by the changes in fair value in the context of the subsequent valuation.

The annual volatility of registered shares BB Biotech AG (reference volatility for the marketable securities) for 2023 is 23.08% (2022: 32.64%). At December 31, 2023, had the value of listed securities increased or decreased by 23.08% (2022: 32.64%) with all other variables held constant, the increase or decrease respectively in net income/loss as well as shareholders’ equity would amount to CHF 604.7 mn (2022: CHF 990.7 mn).

At December 31, 2023 the Company holds one investment in unlisted shares (2022: one).

Interest risk

Interest rates on liquid funds are based on market rates. The funds are due on demand.

Short-term borrowings from banks are on current and short-term loan accounts with interest, based at market rates. Due to the high level of own funds, the effect of interest payable on the statement of income is insignificant. The majority of the Group’s securities are non-interest bearing; as a result, the Group is not subject to significant amounts of risk due to fluctuations in the prevailing levels of market interest rates.

The Group’s interest sensitivity is monitored on a daily basis by the investment manager and reviewed on a regular basis by the Board of Directors.

Currency risk

The Group hold assets denominated in currencies other than the Swiss franc, the functional currency. They are therefore exposed to currency risk, as the value of the securities denominated in other currencies will fluctuate due to changes in exchange rates. Depending on the market situation the Group could use foreign currency options and/or forward contracts to reduce the currency risk.

The following table summarizes the Group’s exposure to currency risks:


Net exposure 31.12. (in CHF 1 000)

Annual volatility (in %)

Potential impact (in CHF 1 000) 1)


2 631 178


207 600







3 051 509


285 804





1Potential impact on total comprehensive income as well as shareholders' equity with all other variables held constant

The Group’s currency position is monitored on a daily basis by the investment manager and is reviewed on a regular basis by the Board of Directors.

Liquidity risk

The Group invests the majority of its assets in investments that are traded in an active market and can be readily disposed of. The Group’s treasury shares, with the exception of shares purchased under a share buy-back program, are considered readily realizable as they are listed on two stock exchanges. The Group can invest a minor part of its portfolio in securities, which are not traded on a stock exchange and may be illiquid. As a result, the Group may not be able to liquidate its investments in these instruments on short notice. In addition, the Group has access to a credit line (notes 5 and 13).

The tables below analyze the Group’s financial liabilities into relevant maturity groupings based on the period between the balance sheet date and the contractual maturity date (in CHF 1 000):

At December 31, 2023

Less than 1 month

1–3 months

More than 3 months / no stated maturity

Short-term borrowings from banks

304 900

Payables to brokers

5 436

Other short-term liabilities

2 800


Total liabilities

313 136


At December 31, 2022

Short-term borrowings from banks

363 000

Other short-term liabilities

3 439


Total liabilities

366 439


The Group’s liquidity position is monitored on a daily basis by the investment manager and is reviewed on a regular basis by the Board of Directors.


The investment portfolio usually consists of 20 to 35 investments. This includes five to eight large core investments, defined as positions > 5%. These investments together will account for up to two-thirds of the portfolio. Companies without a stock market listing shall not exceed 10% of the portfolio.

As at December 31, 2023, the Group held six core investments, representing 55% of the Company's securities (2022: eight core investments, 66%). The portfolio is – in line with the strategy – concentrated on a limited number of investments. Risk diversification is therefore limited.

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