Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on March 21
ZURICH, March 21 |
ZURICH, March 21 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks were set to edge slightly higher on Thursday, as Cyprus' debt crisis keeps investors on edge amid a pick-up in Chinese factory activity and a pledge by the U.S. Federal Reserve to maintain its stimulus programme.
The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen rising 0.1 percent to 7,857 points, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer
The following are some of the main factors expected to affect Swiss stocks on Thursday
Novartis drug Afinitor, expected to be a big seller for the Swiss group, has been rejected by Britain's health cost agency NICE due to uncertainty over its survival benefits in breast cancer.
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* Roche said a change in how it accounts for employee benefits will reduce 2012 net financial income by 164 million Swiss francs. The on-going impact for 2013 and beyond is expected to be of a similar magnitude. There was no impact on Roche's operating income or net assets from this change.
* Novartis said new data shows its drug Gilenya significantly reduces the rate of brain volume loss across three large Phase III studies.
* Kuoni said it is selling its tour operating activities in France to local management in a management buy-out. The travel firm swung to a full-year net loss of 13.2 million Swiss francs from a 33.3 million franc year-ago profit after charges to withdraw from loss-making European tour operating activities.
* Rieter said full-year net profit shrank to 26.5 million Swiss francs from 119 million francs, proposed a dividend of 2.50 francs per share to be paid out of the reserves from capital contributions.
*U Blox said full-year net profit rose 17.2 million francs from 16.5 million and that it will propose paying a 1.00 per share dividend from capital reserves.
* Tamedia said it will propose a 4.50 Swiss franc per share dividend after full-year net profit fell to 152 million francs from 178.8 million year-ago.
* Walter Meier said shareholders approved creating a single share class and compensation of 5 percent for voting shares held to date.
Exports from Switzerland fell by a real 5.3 percent in February to 16.145 billion Swiss francs, the Federal Customs Office said on Thursday.
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