July 19, 2019 / 5:15 AM / 5 months ago

Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on July 19

ZURICH/BERLIN, July 19 (Reuters) - The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.4 percent higher at 10,047 points on Friday, a level that would be near a record high, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer.

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

SGS

The Swiss inspections group plans to trim its workforce by 2,000 across about 120 countries in a process of natural attrition rather than sudden cuts or corporate restructuring, company spokesman Daniel Rufenacht said on Thursday.

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COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Novartis said its older Gilenya medicine against multiple sclerosis won approval in China.

* Huber & Suhner said it is taking over the antenna portfolio for security relevant applications from Kathrein SE. Financial details were not given.

* SFS Group said group sales in the first half increased 1.4% to 856 million Swiss francs, while net profit fell slightly to 88.6 million francs as the company faced costs from relocating a site in China.

* BB Biotech said it had a second-quarter net loss of 336 million francs compared to a loss of 98 million in the year-ago period, as it said fears of U.S. government efforts to block M&A transactions and cut drug prices weighed on investor sentiment for biotech stocks.

* Valora Holding said H1 net profit rose to 27.4 million francs, from 18.8 million francs in the year earlier period, helped by higher food sales and what it called "strong momentum" in its pretzel business.

ANALYSTS' VIEWS

RICHEMONT: RBC raised its price target to 93 francs, from 85 francs, while Credit Suisse raised its price target to 69 francs, from 85 francs

NOVARTIS" CFRA raised its price target to 92 francs, from 86 francs, and cut its rating to "hold" from "buy"

CREDIT SUISSE GROUP: Citigroup cut its price target to 16 francs, from 16.25 francs

ECONOMY

No economic data scheduled. (Reporting by Zurich newsroom and Berlin Speed Desk)

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