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Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on May 4

ZURICH May 4 The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.3 percent higher at 8,914 points on Thursday, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer .

Here are some of the main factors expected to affect Swiss stocks.

CREDIT SUISSE

A Dutch-led international tax evasion investigation involving Credit Suisse CSGN.S centres on the Swiss bank's "historical" private banking business, it said.

The bank also paid $400 million to settle claims it sold toxic mortgage securities that contributed to the demise of three federal credit unions, a U.S. regulator said. The National Credit Union Administration said the settlement resolved the 19th of 20 lawsuits it filed in the last six years against banks over their underwriting or sale of securities to five credit unions that failed in 2009 and 2010. Including a $445 million accord with UBS Group AG announced on Monday, the NCUA said it has recovered roughly $5.1 billion from the banks from these lawsuits.

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SWISS RE

The world's second-largest reinsurer said first-quarter net profit fell nearly 47 percent after outlays on claims from Australia's Cyclone Debbie stripped $350 million from the reinsurer's bottom line.

Shares indicated 1.1 percent higher in pre-market activity.

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LAFARGEHOLCIM

Chairman Beat Hess hopes to have a new chief executive in place at the world's largest cement maker by the end of the year, with the successful applicant not necessarily having to come from the building industry.

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UBS

UBS plans to hire about 100 wealth management client advisors over the next two years in Hong Kong, the biggest wealth hub in Asia-Pacific, to grab a bigger share of the fast-growing mid-tier millionaire segment.

NOVARTIS

The drugmaker is exercising its option with Conatus Pharmaceuticals for an exclusive license for the global development and commercialization of emricasan for treating liver disease NASH. <nFWN1I516W]

COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Molecular Partners AG operating loss of 6.7 million Swiss francs and net loss of 7.6 million Swiss francs in Q1

* Addex Therapeutics Ltd says preclinical results for treatment of alcohol use disorder published in journal of psychopharmacology indicated that ADX71441 may be beneficial in treating alcohol use disorder in humans

* Lalique Group has appointed Alexis Rubinstein its group CFO effective June 1.

ECONOMY

Swiss consumer confidence for the second quarter fell to -8 points from -3 in the first quarter (Reporting by Zurich newsroom)

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