Swiss will vote Sunday on massive gold-buying plan

In Switzerland, a campaign is on to protect the country’s wealth by investing in gold – a lot of gold.

In a test of their sense of financial security, the Swiss are being asked to vote on a proposal to make the central bank hold a fifth of its reserves in gold within five years. That would mean buying about 1,500 metric tons, or 1,650 short tons, of gold worth more than $60 billion.

If the initiative wins the backing of a majority of voters this Sunday, the Swiss National Bank would also be prohibited from spending any of the treasure, which would have to be locked away in vaults entirely on Swiss soil. The prospect risks causing a spike in gold prices globally.

Survey: More people plan to use credit for holiday gifts

Using credit to tackle your holiday shopping can be tempting. And offers of a discount for opening a new account or interest-free purchases for a year or more make it more enticing.

But relying on credit without a plan to pay off the debt quickly can easily cost you more in the long run. Carrying higher balances for several months could lower your credit score, making it more expensive to refinance your home, buy a car or qualify for other loans

A recent survey by the National Retail Federation found that about 38 percent of consumers planned to rely on credit to buy their holiday gifts. That’s up from 28.5 percent last year and the biggest share in the survey’s history.

Fire guts candy distribution center, leads to halt in orders

Some orders for chocolates have been halted after fire gutted a candy warehouse and distribution center in Maple Heights, Ohio.

Authorities are trying to determine what caused the blaze that began Thursday morning at the Fannie May Fine Chocolates center in the northeastern Ohio town. Authorities said there were no injuries.

Firefighters from several departments responded, and hazardous materials units stood by because of ammonia in the center.

Fannie May Chocolates is a division of 1-800-Flowers.com Inc. The company says it is assessing the effects of the fire and the contingency plans that will be needed for the holiday season.

The company on Friday posted a message on its website saying Fannie May and its Harry London gourmet chocolates business have temporarily halted orders for most of their candies and confections.

Initial public offering set for Waltham, Mass., company

The following is a look at one initial public offering planned for the week beginning Dec. 1. Sources include IPO ETF manager Renaissance Capital, and SEC filings.

Histogenics Corp. – Waltham, Mass., 4.3 million shares, priced $13 to $15, managed by Cowen, Needham, and Canaccord Genuity. Proposed Nasdaq symbol HSGX. The business is developing a tissue implant to repair knee cartilage using regenerative medicine.

– From news service reports