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Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on Sept 19

ZURICH, Sept 19 The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.4 percent higher at 8,165 points on Monday, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer .

The following are some of the main factors expected to affect Swiss stocks:

ABB

Swiss engineering group ABB has decided to keep its Power Grids division, which was put under review last year, weekly SonntagsZeitung said on Sunday citing a source at the company's headquarters.

ABB's board will discuss the future of its Power Grids division next week as investors ramp up pressure on the technology group to spin off the $11.6 billion business. The board will meet at an undisclosed location in Switzerland on Tuesday, two sources close to the matter told Reuters on Friday.

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BANKS

Consolidation at the Swiss banking sector will continue and the number of banks will decrease, the head of the Swiss Bankers Association told Le Temps paper.

Swiss lenders, being confronted with falling margins and higher costs due to increasing regulation, digitalisation and negative interest rates, need to further adjust their structures, Helmut Scheidt said.

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LAFARGEHOLCIM

LafargeHolcim is considering withdrawing from several markets as part of its efforts to make last year's mega-merger a success, Chairman Beat Hess told weekly Sonntagszeitung. "We will be present in fewer countries for sure," Hess was quoted as saying. The sale of operations in several countries was an option, he said.

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NOVARTIS

The Swiss drugmaker's investigational multiple sclerosis drug cut the risk of disability progression in patients with a tough-to-treat form of the disease versus a placebo, the Swiss company said on Saturday, citing a new analysis of a late-stage trial.

About 40 percent of chronic migraine sufferers taking an experimental drug developed by Novartis and Amgen saw the number of days they suffered a migraine cut by at least half, beating the placebo in the trial.

Novartis said a new analysis showed its Entresto drug was linked to higher quality of life scores among patients who had been hospitalized with reduced ejection fraction heart failure.

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CHARLES VOEGELE HOLDING

The consortium Sempione Retail on Monday offered to buy struggling Swiss retailer Charles Voegele Holding. Sempione, made up of Italy's OVS, financial investor Aspen Trust Services and Retails Investment S.R.L, is offering 6.38 francs per bearer share in cash for Voegele, a 2.1 percent premium to its closing price on Friday, Voegele said in a statement.

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COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Syngenta said it has agreed the 120 million Swiss franc ($122.62 million) expansion of its production site in Kaisten, Switzerland, creating 20 new jobs.

* GF Automotive, a division of GF, said it has received an order from a French car manufacturer for the battery housing of a new hybrid vehicle. The contract amounts to 77 million euros ($85.98 million).

* Schindler Holding will cooperate with Huawei Technologies Co. in the future on the development of Internet-of-Things components for the connectivity of elevators and escalators.

* Gategroup said it is expanding and extending major contracts with strategic customers easyJet and airberlin.

* Burckhardt Compression Holding said it is acquiring IKS Industrie- und Kompressorenservice GmbH, a German firm based in Bremen which recorded sales of about 4 million Swiss francs and employed a staff of 17 in 2015.

* Novimmune (IPO-NOVI.S) announced two new appointments to its senior management team: Chief Financial Officer Sven Zimmermann, and Global Head of Quality Mylène Fleurant.

* New Value said it will receive a share of the liability payment made by the company's former directors and auditor to an investor following a settlement between the parties.

* WISeKey International Holding announced its intention to establish a blockchain "centre of excellence" in Mauritius to assist the Mauritius government in creating a blockchain ecosystem.

* Aevis Victoria SA said it joined the SXI Life Sciences Index (SLIFE) and SXI Bio+Medtech Index (SBIOM).

* BVZ Holding said first-half revenue rose 2.6 percent year on year to 68.8 million Swiss francs.

ECONOMY

* Sight deposits data from the Swiss National Bank due at 0800 GMT ($1 = 0.8956 euros) ($1 = 0.9786 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Zurich newsroom)

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