March 26, 2018 / 6:24 AM / a month ago

Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on March 26

ZURICH, March 26(Reuters) - The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.4 percent lower at 8,537 points on Monday, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer .

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

ROCHE

Swiss drugmaker Roche’s immunotherapy Tecentriq combined with other medicines helped people with advanced lung cancer live longer, compared to patients receiving an older drug combination, the company said in a statement on Monday.

GIVAUDAN

The fragrance and flavour maker has agreed to buy a 40.6 percent stake in French natural ingredients group Naturex and plans to launch a mandatory cash tender offer for the remaining shares.

ALPIQ

Alpiq unloaded building technology units for 850 million Swiss francs ($897.19 million) to shore up its finances after announcing on Monday its fifth loss in seven years, as low European power prices continue to bedevil the Swiss utility.

ZURICH INSURANCE

Alpiq Chief Executive Jasmin Staiblin has withdrawn her candidacy to join Zurich Insurance’s board of directors due to other commitments, the Swiss insurer said on Monday.

SONOVA

* Incoming Sonova Chief Executive Arnd Kaldowski plans to shift the group’s focus more towards technical innovation and hopes to cooperate with Apple and Samsung, he told NZZ am Sonntag in an interview.

SWATCH

* Longines President Walter von Kaenel told weekly Schweiz am Sonntag he expects 2018 to become “the best year in our 185-year-old history”, mainly thanks to the Chinese’s appetite for the Swatch Group’s luxury unit’s watches.

“Demand for our watches has never dried up in China. It increased uninterrupted over the past years.” Longines’ Hong-Kong business is recovering after a hefty drop in demand in 2014 due to the “umbrella revolution,” von Kaenel said.

RAIFFEISEN

* The chief legal advisor and wife of former Raiffeisen CEO Pierin Vincenz, Nadja Ceregato, will leave the bank, Swiss newswire SDA reported on Sunday. “The new findings regarding Pierin Vincenz have changed the situation for Nadja Ceregato,” a Raiffeisen Switzerland spokeswoman told SDA. “It is neither in her nor in Raiffeisen’s interest for Ceregato to return to Raiffeisen.”

MEYER BURGER

* Chief Executive Hans Braendle confirmed the group’s annual forecast in an interview with weekly Finanz und Wirtschaft but acknowledged that it has been difficult to win orders in recent months.

“A large order would certainly help,” Braendle said, adding that 2018 results will not be burdened by one-off effects.

PARTNERS GROUP

The investment has launched a $1 billion social impact fund, the Financial Times reported.

COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Mobilezone said it will receive 81.6 million Swiss francs from a capital increase, where subscription rights for 99.9 percent of the 8.6 million new shares have been exercised.

* Cham Group raised its dividend to 6 francs per share as net income rose to 14.9 million francs in 2017.

* Dufry won a 5-year contract for duty-free stories in Hong Kong’s new railway station.

* After a 32.5 million euro net loss in 2017, Cosmo Pharmaceuticals expects to mark an operating loss of 40 million euros in 2018 before returning to profit in 2019.

* 5,631,625 shares, or close to 90 percent of the share total, in Goldbach Group were tendered to Tamedia by the close of its public tender offer, the groups said.

ECONOMY

* The Swiss National Bank is due to publish details on the Swiss balance of payments at 0800 GMT.

* The SNB is due to publish information on sight deposits at 0900 GMT. ($1 = 0.9474 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Zurich newsroom)

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