Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on Jan 8

ZURICH Wed Jan 8, 2014 2:18am EST

ZURICH Jan 8 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks were expected to open little changed on Wednesday in line with other European markets with investors waiting for new signs that the region's economy is picking up before committing more money to stocks.

The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening flat at 8,314 points, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer.

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

UBS

A former high-ranking UBS banker charged with helping Americans dodge taxes through secret Swiss bank accounts pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to fraud conspiracy charges linked to a U.S. tax evasion investigation that shook Swiss banking to the core.

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NESTLE

Nestle has signed a long-term supply deal with Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) to obtain brain and liver cells as the Swiss food group steps up its research into the link between diet and disease.

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ROCHE

Pharmaceutical companies including Roche, Teva and AstraZeneca are among parties in talks to acquire Celtrion Inc, according to reports in South Korean media.

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COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Zurich has appointed Robert Dickie as Chief Operations and Technology Officer, effective March 2014. He joins the company from American International Group (AIG).

* Syngenta said its head of Business Development Robert Berendes will leave the company at the end of the first quarter.

* Implenia has signed a contract worth around 230 million Swiss francs to build a new road in Norway.

* EFG International said its Chief Financial Officer Giorgio Pradelli will additionally take on the role of Deputy CEO.

* Baloise said its German subsidiary has reached an agreement with employee representatives enabling it to proceed with previously announced cost and job cuts.

ECONOMY

* The Swiss Federal Treasury will announce the results of its 2025 and 2042 bond auctions at around 1030 GMT.

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