Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on May 2

ZURICH Thu May 2, 2013 2:17am EDT

ZURICH May 2 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks were set to open lower on Thursday as concerns about the health of the global economy and caution ahead of the European Central Bank's policy meeting keep investors on the sidelines.

The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.3 percent lower at 7,879 points, according to pre-market indications provided by Julius Baer.

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

SWISS RE

Swiss Re said first quarter profits rose 21 percent, driven by a 9 percent rise in premium and fee income, low catastrophe losses and the expiry of a quota share agreement with Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway.

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SWISSCOM AG

Swisscom said net revenues fell 2.4 percent in the first quarter as record customer growth failed to offset weakening market prices.

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COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Kudelski said all board proposals had been accepted by a large majority at the shareholders meeting.

* Biella Neher Holding said shareholders approved all agenda items at the annual meeting. The company flagged further operational and strategic changes due to a harsh market environment.

* Banque Profil de Gestion said profits fell to 0.2 million Swiss francs in Q1 2013 from 0.5 million a year earlier.

* mondoBIOTECH holding AG announces financial results for the year 2012 and completion of due diligence in relation to the business combination with a division of Pierrel SpA which this allows the companies to take the necessary steps to bring the transaction to conclusion.

* Dufry said all proposals of the Board of Directors were approved by a large majority of the shares represented at its ordinary general meeting.

* Transocean provides update on cost reduction initiative.

* Cartier, a brand of Swiss luxury goods group Richemont , said Guillaume Alix had been named director general of its Swiss business.

ECONOMY

Swiss purchasing managers index for April is due at 0730 GMT. Six analysts in a Reuters poll gave estimates averaging 49.0 points, up slightly on a month earlier.