Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on April 15

ZURICH, April 15 Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:08am EDT

ZURICH, April 15 (Reuters) - The Swiss blue chip index was expected to open weaker on Monday as heavyweight stock Nestle was set to fall 3 percent as it traded ex-dividend, while other shares were seen little moved.

The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen falling 0.9 percent to 7,690 points, according to premarket indications from bank Julius Baer.

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

ROCHE

Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG said it had teamed up with biotech firm Ascletis to develop and commercialise its investigative drug danoprevir in China for the treatment of the Hepatitis-C virus.

For more, click on

CLARIANT

Swiss chemicals firm Clariant has signed a deal with Ecolab Inc to buy some of its deep water assets in the Gulf of Mexico but is not disclosing financial details.

For more, click on

BANKS

* Europe's competition authority should have its first decisions by the end of the year in an investigation of alleged manipulation of key international interest rates, EU Competition Chief Joaquin Almunia said on Friday.

* The European Union's six biggest countries agreed on Friday to cooperate in the fight against tax havens, piling pressure on Austria to follow Luxembourg in ending bank secrecy.

* Switzerland does not need to consider an automatic exchange of information with tax authorities in the European Union, its president said in a newspaper interview.

CREDIT SUISSE

A former Credit Suisse Group AG trader pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge on Friday in a U.S. criminal case relating to the alleged inflation of subprime mortgage bond prices.

For more, click on

COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Kuehne & Nagel : Q1 turnover increased by 5.4 per cent to CHF 5,094 million compared to the previous year's period. Net earnings amounted to CHF 134 million (last year: CHF 68 million).

* Galenica : Following the submission of the New Drug Application (NDA) for PA21, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it has accepted the filing and assigned a PDUFA (Prescription Drug User Fee Act) target action date of 1 December 2013 to complete its review.

ECONOMY

* The Swiss government has a confidential emergency plan to stabilise the Swiss franc exchange rate in case the euro zone crisis worsens and the Swiss National Bank alone is no longer able to guarantee the rate, Swiss parliament's finance delegation said in a report.