ZURICH, Aug 31 (Reuters) - The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.2 percent higher at 8,871 points on Thursday, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer .
Here are some of the main factors that may affect Swiss stocks:
Novartis on Wednesday won highly anticipated U.S. approval for the first of a new type of potent gene-modifying immunotherapy for leukemia, a $475,000 treatment that marks the start of a potential new treatment paradigm for some cancers.
The Swiss private bank and asset manager on Thursday set out its targets for 2020, outlining higher asset-gathering and profitability goals and saying it wants to grow through acquisitions.
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UBS is leaning toward Frankfurt as its EU trading hub, Bloomberg reported, citing four people with knowledge of the matter.
* VAT Group on Thursday said it had been informed that Capvis funds sold out of their VAT equity holdings, placing a total of 1,435,188 shares at an offer price of 120 Swiss francs per share via an accelerated bookbuilding. The placement increased the free float of VAT shares to 77 percent from roughly 72.2 percent presently.
* Investis increased its half-year net profit by 40 percent to 28 million Swiss francs.
* Santhera announced the approval of Raxone in Israel to treat visual impairment in patients with Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy.
Swiss National Bank board member Andrea Maechler addresses Forum Yverdon economic conference (0740 GMT)
Reporting by Zurich newsroom