Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on Aug 29
ZURICH Aug 29 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks were expected to open unchanged on Thursday as an improving macroeconomic outlook in Europe is balanced by concerns over a possible U.S.-led military strike against the Syrian government, keeping risk appetite in check.
The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen flat cent at 7,776 points, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer .
The following are some of the main factors expected to affect Swiss stocks on Thursday:
The Swiss insurer said its chairman, ex-Deutsche Bank AG head Josef Ackermann, will step down immediately, following what appeared to be the suicide of the insurer's financial chief earlier this week.
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* Swiss insurer Baloise said first half profit rose 11.8 percent to 245 million Swiss francs ($265.42 million)on a 5.1 percent rise in business volume and strong investment gains.
* Actelion said the New England Journal of Medicine published the results of Seraphin, a study of its macitentan drug in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).
* Liechtensteinische Landesbank said first-half profit shrank to 13.6 million francs after provisions for a U.S. tax dispute, a net goodwill value adjustment for swisspartners, the closure of its Swiss arm, and costs to restructure depressed the interim result by 58.4 million francs.
* Valora said first-half net profit more than doubled to 25.8 million francs and confirmed its projection of achieving an operating profit of some 75 million francs for 2013 as a whole, with a further 5 to 10 million francs in positive one-off effects.
* Sonova said its Advanced Bionics unit has received U.S. approval for its new Naída CI Q70 sound processor.
* Implenia said first-half revenues rose 15.5 percent to 1.4 billion francs and operating income was up 5 percent at 30.1 million.
* Lem said it will reduce headcount in Geneva by 13 people as part of a decision to establish a new production site in Sofia, Bulgaria. The expected cost of the restructuring plan is in line with provisions recorded and will not lead to additional full-year costs.
* Oerlikon said it is opening a new sales and service site in Brazil.
* Perrot Duval said first-half net profit rose to 1.168 million francs and that instead of a dividend, it will propose that unappropriated retained earnings be carried forward this year in view of its need to maintain liquid assets to realize its developments.
* Bobst said its operating result in the first half of 2013 was close to break even, with a 24.7 million Swiss franc improvement compared to the first six months of 2012.
Swiss non-farm payrolls due at 0715 GMT
($1 = 0.9231 Swiss francs)