March 9, 2017 / 6:39 AM / in 9 months

Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on March 9

ZURICH, March 9 (Reuters) - The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening almost unchanged at 8,625 points on Thursday, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer .

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

NESTLE

Nestle is close to reaching a deal with Cuba on forming a new joint venture to build a $50 million to $60 million factory to produce coffee, biscuits and cooking products, company Vice President Laurent Freixe said on Wednesday in Havana.

COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Straumann said it has signed two distribution agreements to supply 3Shape dental scanner solutions and Rapid Shape 3D-printers to dental practices and laboratories.

* Schmolz & Bickenbach said it is optimistic to improve its results in 2017 after full-year revenues fell 13.6 percent on the back of a production stop in the third quarter.

* Meyer Burger said adjustments to conditions of its 100 million Swiss franc convertible bond will become effective March 17 after an approval decision by the High Court of Canton Berne became final.

* Ascom Holding said it is targeting 3-6 percent revenue growth and a 14-15 percent EBITDA margin for 2017. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation reached 41.7 million Swiss francs ($41.07 million) in 2016 with a 13.9 percent margin. The group posted an overall 145.7 million franc loss for the year due to its sale of the network testing division.

* bfw liegenschaften is planning to buy back up to 10 percent of its shares for a maximum 24.4 million Swiss francs.

* Swiss Finance & Property Investment proposed a dividend increase to 3.60 francs after net profit rose to 14.5 million francs in 2016.

* Evolva said it’s receiving a $1 million milestone payment after reaching a second technical way point in its R&D partnership with Takasago.

* Coltene Holding said full-year sales grew 4 percent, while net profit for 2016 rose 29.5 percent to 17.3 million francs.

* Cicor Technologies returned to profitability in 2016 at 0.3 million francs.

ECONOMY

* The Swiss unemployment rate fell to a non-seasonally adjusted 3.6 percent in February from 3.7 percent the previous month. ($1 = 1.0154 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Zurich newsroom)

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