ZURICH, May 15 (Reuters) - The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.4 percent higher at 9,163 points on Monday, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer .
The following are some of the main factors expected to affect Swiss stocks:
The French-Swiss cement giant parted ways with Chief Executive Eric Olsen not only because of payments to extremist groups in Syria, but differences that emerged over his efforts to trim staff costs and focus operations on LafargeHolcim’s most profitable markets, SonntagsZeitung reported, citing insiders.
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GlaxoSmithKline Plc is preparing investors for an expansion of its consumer healthcare business through an 8 billion pound ($10.3 billion) deal with Swiss rival Novartis AG, the Sunday Times reported.
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Swiss retailers expect a 40 percent increase in the sales of so-called smartwatches, with the number rising to 180,000 timepieces, SonntagsZeitung reported. The biggest driver behind the boost is new models, the Swiss newspaper wrote.
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The world’s biggest food company is among big companies that are purchasing companies specialising in organic products to buttress product portfolios in this growing segment, SonntagsZeitung reported. “The organic wave is causing panic among the multinationals,” a consumer goods consultant said. “They’re reacting with acquisitions, because they don’t have in-house knowledge about organic.”
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UBS will decide by the end of this year where to transfer some of its activities from London, saying Paris is one out of several options being considered, Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti said in an interview with Le Figaro. Ermotti also said he has confidence in the French justice system as it faces trial there after a long-running investigation into allegations that the Swiss bank helped wealthy clients avoid taxes.
Cuba is blaming the Swiss bank for blocking the island nation’s membership payments to the United Nations, Blick reported, citing a letter sent by the country to other UN member states. UBS has blocked the payments in accordance with U.S. sanctions against the country. Switzerland’s foreign ministry is in contact with both Cuba and UBS over the matter, it told the paper.
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* Hainan Province Cihang Foundation, which is connected to HNA Group, has increased its stake in Dufry to 20.92 percent, according to a disclosure from the Swiss stock exchange. In a previous disclosure, its stake was 16.79 percent.
* Syngenta, the Swiss pesticides and seeds group being bought by ChemChina, published the invitation to its 2017 General Meeting of Shareholders, which the company expects to be its last one held as a publicly listed company “at least for a certain number of years”.
* Interroll Holding said shareholders will receive a dividend of CHF 16.00 for 2016, an increase of 33.3 percent over previous year.
* Airesis said its mandatory convertible loans, authorized by its board of directors in March, have been entered into on May 12 and bear 5.5 percent interest per annum. The MCLs are convertible at a conversion price (strike) of 1.36 per Swiss francs share.
* Liechtensteinische Landesbank said its AGM elected Georg Wohlwend as new chairman.
* Helvetia Holding said the University of St. Gallen and Helvetia Insurance had established a joint innovation lab.
* Leclanche announced the market launch of Leclanche Marine Rack System, a modular, Lithium-ion battery system designed to reduce marine vessels’ harmful emissions and their operating costs.
Producer/import price data for April due at 0715 GMT.
Swiss National Bank releases sight deposits at 0800 GMT. ($1 = 0.7742 pounds) (Reporting by Zurich newsroom)