March 22, 2017 / 5:57 AM / 7 months ago

Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on March 22

ZURICH, March 22 (Reuters) - The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.5 percent lower at 8,571.5 points on Wednesday, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer.

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

CREDIT SUISSE

Credit Suisse will say as soon as possible whether it will go ahead with plans to float a minority stake of its Swiss bank, Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam told Swiss paper Finanz und Wirtschaft, adding the bank still needs more capital. “We’re still analysing,” Thiam said in the interview published late on Tuesday. “We have a broad palette of options after our settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice. We will communicate further details as soon as possible.”

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NOVARTIS

Novartis said on Wednesday its serelaxin drug for patients with acute heart failure had failed a global phase III trial which tested its ability to reduce deaths from the condition. “We are disappointed this study did not confirm the efficacy of in acute heart failure, especially given the urgent need for effective new treatments for this condition,” said Vas Narasimhan, Global Head of Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer, at Novartis. “We will continue to further analyze the data to better understand and learn from these results as well as evaluate next steps for the overall program.”

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RICHEMONT

French luxury group Kering said on Tuesday that its Kering Eyewear unit and Richemont-owned Maison Cartier will partner to develop, manufacture and distribute worldwide the Cartier eyewear collection. Under the deal, Richemont will buy a 30 percent stake in Kering Eyewear.

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NEWRON PHARMACEUTICALS

Newron said it would accelerate the U.S. launch of Xadago (safinamide) after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its Parkinson’s disease treatment as an add-on therapy to levodopa, a drug widely used to treat the disease.

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COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Emmi expects conditions in the dairy market to stay challenging, but says acquisitions and positive momentum in the Americas will help it to grow sales in 2017. It expects these to be up 1 - 2 percent in like-for-like terms, after sales grew 1.4 percent to 3.26 billion francs in 2016.

* Meyer Burger is targeting a similar level of net sales in 2017 as in the previous year and a substantial improvement in profitability after hitting a 97.1 million franc loss in 2016.

* Schaffner Group expects higher earnings before interest and tax and stable sales development in the first half of its 2016-17 reporting year, the group said on Wednesday. Its half-year report is due for release on May 11.

* Investis has proposed a dividend of 2.35 francs per share after upping operating profit by 27 percent to 76.4 million francs in 2016.

* U Blox Holding said it has raised 60 million Swiss francs in debt through issuance of a fixed rate domestic straight bond.

* Orpheee narrowed its 2016 loss to 3.2 million francs from 10.4 million francs the year before.

ECONOMY (Reporting by Zurich newsroom)

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