February 6, 2017 / 5:57 AM / 9 months ago

Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on Feb 6

ZURICH, Feb 6 (Reuters) - The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.1 percent higher at 8,359 points on Monday, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer .

The following are some of the main factors expected to affect Swiss stocks:

ROCHE

Chief Executive Severin Schwan told Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung he is eagerly anticipating results of a study of his medicine Perjeta that will be critical for the Swiss drugmaker’s strategy for defending its breast cancer franchise from cheaper copies from rivals. The Aphinity trial results are due in the first quarter. “The next months will be decisive for Roche’s coming years,” Schwan told the paper.

Roche said a subcutaneous formulation of Herceptin was approved in Switzerland for the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer.

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UBS, CREDIT SUISSE

The new head of UBS Switzerland, Martin Blessing, told Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung that he expects interest rates across Europe to remain low for the next 12-18 months. Consequently, Blessing cast doubt on rival Credit Suisse’s 2018 target of 2.3 billion Swiss francs ($2.32 billion) at its Swiss business, saying that “to reach such a goal, the market environment would have to change dramatically.”

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SWATCH

Chief Executive Nick Hayek told Swiss newspaper Finanz und Wirtschaft that an IPO for the company’s battery unit ”won’t be coming for the next two years“” and only makes sense when it has products on the market.

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EMS CHEMIE

CEO Magdalena Martullo-Blocher, also an SVP politician, forecast in an interview with Schweiz am Sonntag that her company would invest an additional 10 million Swiss francs ($10.08 million)annually in research and development at Swiss locations, should Switzerland’s corporate tax reform pass voter muster on Feb. 12. Should it fail, she said, the Swiss speciality chemical maker would likely shift such investments abroad.

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RAIFFEISEN BANK

Chief Executive Patrik Gisel told Schweiz am Sonntag that pressure is growing among banks to pass along costs due to the Swiss National Bank’s policy of negative interest but that it is “at this time not on the table” for his bank.

“We have enough room to manoeuvre via our balance sheet and our fees,” Gisel told the newspaper, adding that there are signs that interest rates could be raised rather than lowered.

COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Vontobel it has entered into a strategic agreement that enables clients of Bank of Singapore to book their assets in Switzerland.

* BFW liegenschaften ag said Beat Frischknecht, member of the Board of Directors and CEO, has decided to step down from the executive board, as of the end of March 2017. BFW liegenschaften said it has appointed Reto Borner as successor in the role of CEO and appointed Philipp Hafen as new CFO, effective 1 April 2017. The company also posted a 2016 EBIT of 27.3 million francs (previous year 19.5 million) and net earnings including changes in fair value of investment properties and deferred taxes amounts to 18.2 million francs (previous year CHF 10.2 million).

* Energiedienst Holding said 2016 net profit fell from 39.3 million euros to 31.2 million and that its board of directors proposes an unchanged dividend of 1.00 franc per share at the annual general meeting.

* DKSH said 2016 profit after tax was 213 million francs significantly above last year and that it is proposing an ordinary dividend of 1.50 francs per share.

ECONOMY

* Swiss National Bank Chairman Thomas Jordan told Sueddeutsche Zeitung the central bank’s policy of negative interest rates is vital in order to at least partly maintain the historical interest rate differential between the franc and the euro as well as other currencies.

* The Swiss National Bank is due to release sight deposit data at 0900 GMT.

$1 = 0.9924 Swiss francs Reporting by Zurich newsroom

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