Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on Feb 28

ZURICH Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:16am EST

ZURICH Feb 28 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks were expected to open higher on Friday, in line with European markets, on expectations a further dip in euro zone inflation could prompt the European Central Bank to cut rates slightly.

The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen rising 0.17 percent to 8,485 points, according to premarket indications from bank Julius Baer.

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

ACTELION

Actelion Ltd, Europe's biggest biotech company, said on Thursday that the U.S. health regulator is granting fast-track status to its antibiotic treatment for diarrhoea.

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CREDIT SUISSE

A New York appeals court on Thursday revived Assured Guaranty Corp's claims for certain damages in its lawsuit against Credit Suisse Group AG over allegedly defective loans underlying mortgage-backed securities.

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SYNGENTA

U.S. farmers should closely consider the markets they serve when choosing to plant a new genetically modified Syngenta AG SYNN.VX corn variety as it is not approved by all major importers, including China, the U.S. Grains Council said on Thursday.

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COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Orascom said it had decided jointly with Chief Executive Gerhard Niesslein to end his employment, effective Friday. Founder and chairman Samih Sawiris will take over Niesslein's responsibilities temporarily.

*PSP Swiss Property said it expected EBITDA excluding changes in fair value to fall to 230 million Swiss francs for 2014, after posting 242.5 million in 2013, due to a decline in rental income and higher renovation expenditures.

* Swiss cooperative lender Raiffeisen said group profit rose 12.9 percent to 717 million Swiss francs in 2013, the highest the bank has ever recorded.

* Basilea said it had agreed to ammend its isavuconazole license with Astellas Pharma, providing Basilea full rights to isavuconazole in all markets outside of the U.S. and Canada.

ECONOMY

February KOF at 0800 GMT

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