March 2, 2020 / 5:45 AM / a month ago

Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on March 2

ZURICH/BERLIN, March 2 (Reuters) - The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 1.4% higher at 9,972 points on Monday, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer .

Here are some of the main factors that may affect Swiss stocks:

SWISS NATIONAL BANK

The Swiss National Bank SNBN.S posted an annual profit of 48.9 billion Swiss francs ($50.71 billion), the central bank said on Monday, and said it would double its payout to Switzerland's regional and central governments.

CORONAVIRUS

The Swiss government will lower its economic growth forecast because of the coronavirus outbreak, an official from its State Secretariat for Economic Affairs said.

The coronavirus outbreak is fuelling investor demand for the Swiss franc, Swiss National Bank vice-chairman Fritz Zurbruegg said, with the impact on the country's economy depending on how much the virus spread.

An employee of Alphabet's Google, who had been in the Zurich office, has tested positive for coronavirus, the company said.

LAFARGEHOLCIM

The cement giant's Chief Executive Jan Jenisch believes 50 euros per tonne would be a good price for carbon emissions in the European Union rather than the current 25, and wants his company to eventually change its name which is "far to long", he told SonntagsZeitung.

COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Bobst reported a full-year net income of 53 million Swiss francs on revenues of 1.64 billion francs and proposed an unchanged dividend of 1.50 francs per share. bit.ly/2PEgxdP

ANALYST ACTIONS

* SWISS LIFE HOLDING AG: KEPLER CHEUVREUX RAISES TO BUY FROM HOLD; RAISES TARGET PRICE TO CHF 510 FROM CHF 500

ECONOMY

* Swiss February manufacturing PMI due at 0830 GMT, seen at 48.1

* Fitch affirmed Switzerland's rating at 'AAA', with a stable outlook, but said the spread of the coronavirus beyond China represented an additional risk on Switzerland.

Reporting by Zurich newsroom and Berlin Speed Desk

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