Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on Feb 25

ZURICH Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:11am EST

ZURICH Feb 25 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks were expected to open higher on Monday in line with other European markets, but uncertainty about an unpredictable Italian election was likely to keep a lid on risk appetite.

The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen rising 0.3 percent to 7,575 points, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer.

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

NESTLE

Italy's Health Ministry said on Saturday that tests had found no trace of horse DNA in minced beef meals by Swiss food giant Nestle that were removed from sale on Monday.

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BASILEA

HBM Healthcare Investments has called on Swiss biotech group Basilea to repay 5 Swiss francs ($5.4) per registered share from the company's capital reserves, a move that would cost roughly 48 million francs.

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COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Novartis reports Phase III data showing omalizumab improved itch in patients with a chronic form of hives who failed standard therapy.

* Bellevue said it will propose a dividend of 2 Swiss francs per share after swinging a 6.5 million franc net profit. It will also submit a proposal to create authorized capital equivalent to approximately 15 percent of paid up share capital.

ECONOMY

Switzerland is making good progress on an agreement to tax assets held by Italians in Swiss banks accounts, but it might be difficult for any deal to come into force before 2015, a spokesman for the Swiss State Secretariat for International Financial Affairs (SIF) said.

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