October 23, 2017 / 5:17 AM / a year ago

Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on Oct 23

ZURICH, Oct 23 (Reuters) - The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.2 percent higher at 9,254 points on Monday, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer .

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


Activist investor RBR Capital Advisors wants to expand its stake in Credit Suisse to 1 billion Swiss francs ($1 billion), as the hedge fund pushes to spin off the Swiss lender’s investment bank and asset management business.

RBR Chief Executive Rudolf Bohli also told Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger the number of employees at Credit Suisse’s investment banking trading division, which has around 12,000 staff, needs to be reduced by half.

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Chief Financial Officer Mario Rossi told Finanz und Wirtschaft he does not expect the company to increase its dividend in the next few years. Rossi also told the paper Swisscom’s performance in the third quarter moved according to plan.

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The chief executive of the Swiss building technology company, which plans to float new and existing shares on the Swiss stock exchange, told Finanz und Wirtschaft it will aim to pay around two-thirds of profits to shareholders through dividends.


The new head of Richemont’s IWC Schaffhausen, Christoph Grainger-Herr, told SonntagsZeitung the watchmaker is seeing significant growth in China, the company is happy with its performance in the United States and that in Europe Britain, the Benelux countries and Spain are developing well. He said uncertainty surrounding North Korea had not dampened demand for expensive watches.

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Cement maker Lafarge Africa, the subsidiary of Franco-Swiss group LafargeHolcim, is expecting regulatory approval from Nigerian authorities for a 131.65 billion naira ($431.43 million) rights issue as it focuses on Nigeria for growth and expands into Ghana, its chief financial officer said on Friday.

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A spokeswoman told the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper that the drugmaker plans to submit an approval application for its $450,000 treatment for leukaemia in children.

Further, the drugmaker on Monday said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted breakthrough therapy status to the combination of Tafinlar and Mekinist to treat patients with BRAF V600-positive stage III melanoma following surgery.

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Chief Executive John Haefelfinger told Basler Zeitung the company’s full-year guidance remained unchanged and that it expects a result in 2017 which will be slightly below the previous year.

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* Meyer Burger said it was awarded a contract for around 45 million Swiss francs by an Italian photovoltaic manufacturer.

* Cosmo Pharmaceuticals’ Aemcolo, a treatment for travelers’ diarrhea, has received fast track and qualified infectious disease product designations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Cosmo said.

* Basilea Pharmaceutica said it received a 5 million franc milestone payment from Astellas Pharma after strong sales of antifungal Cresemba in the United States.


The Swiss National Bank is due to give an update on sight deposit data at 0800 GMT. (Reporting by Zurich newsroom)

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