ZURICH, March 23 (Reuters) - The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.1 percent higher at 8,580 points on Thursday, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer .
Here are some of the main factors that may affect Swiss stocks:
Deutsche Bank's European equity strategists on Thursday said they had "overweight" positions on the UK and Switzerland and "underweight" positions on Germany and France, with political risks one of the negative factors for the French market.
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Switzerland's financial watchdog is looking into a report that dozens of Swiss banks may have helped launder more than $600 million from Russia in a global scheme dubbed "Laundromat".
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* Novartis' eye care business Alcon received U.S. FDA approval for new AcrySof IQ ReSTOR +2.5 Multifocal Toric IOL with ACTIVEFOCUS(TM) design for uncompromised distance vision and presbyopia correction.
* Baloise Holding said it will propose a dividend of 5.20 Swiss francs per share after 2016 profit to shareholders rose 4.4 percent to 534.8 million francs.
* Bank Coop said Basler Kantonalbank raise its stake in the company to 75.8 percent and that it will change its name to Bank Cler.
* Metall Zug Group posted a financial result of 10.3 million Swiss francs for 2016 and said it will propose a dividend of 7.00 francs gross per type A registered share and 70.00 francs gross per type B registered share. The company expects 2017 operating income to be in line with that of the previous year, assuming that the operating conditions remain unchanged.
* Givaudan said Joe Fabbri, head of global environment, health and safety (EHS), and sustainability, to retire from the executive committee. Simon Halle-Smith, head of global human resources, becomes responsible for EHS. Willem Mutsaerts, head of global procurement, becomes responsible for sustainability.
* SHL Telemedicine said Chairman of the Board of Directors Uzi Blumensohn has stepped with immediate effect, while the board has also accepted the resignation of Ehud Ben Yair, SHL’s CFO. The Board of Directors will convene to appoint a new Chairman and SHL will initiate the process to search a new CFO, the company said.
* Warteck Invest said full-year group profit of 15.1 million Swiss francs exceeded the previous year's result by 3.5 percent.
* The Swiss National Bank bought 67.1 billion Swiss francs ($67.6 billion) worth of foreign currencies in 2016 in an effort to fight the appreciation of the safe-haven franc, the central bank disclosed in its annual report.
* SNB Board Member Andrea Maechler gives speech on "The SNB investment policy and its peculiarities" at 1700 GMT.
Reporting by Zurich newsroom