Swiss stocks - Factors to watch On May 30

ZURICH Fri May 30, 2014 2:06am EDT

ZURICH May 30 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks were expected to open little changed on Friday, in line with other European markets, with investors expected to stay on the sidelines on the last trading day of the month and ahead of the European Central Bank's policy meeting next week.

The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen slipping 0.1 percent at the open to 8,702 points, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer.

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

NOVARTIS, ROCHE

Italy said on Wednesday it was seeking more than a billion euros in damages from multinational drug companies following a ruling by the country's antitrust authority that their policies had been detrimental to Italy's national health service.

The health ministry said in a statement it was requesting a total 1.2 billion euros ($1.6 billion) from Novartis, and Roche for the damages incurred in 2012-2014, and was requesting 14 million euros from Pfizer.

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NOVARTIS

A federal judge on Thursday refused to dismiss a U.S. government lawsuit accusing Novartis AG of civil fraud for having conducted two illegal kickback schemes to boost sales of drugs covered by Medicare and Medicaid.

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HOLCIM

Brazil's antitrust watchdog Cade fined six cement makers a combined 3.1 billion reais ($1.4 billion) for fixing prices for two decades and ordered the companies to dispose of many assets, in a harsh decision that the biggest one said it will challenge in courts.

Holcim, which has been fined around 204 million Swiss francs ($227 million), said it would appeal the decision.

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COMPANY STATEMENTS

* PubliGroupe said on Wednesday it expected the value of its share in local.ch to rise, following an agreement by Swisscom and Tamedia to combine the directory operator, which Swisscom owns with PubliGroupe, with Tamedia's search.ch.

* Newron Pharmaceuticals said it has submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) for safinamide to the U.S, Food and Drug Administration.

* Schindler has sold its stake in EbiSquare AG to Halter AG and also sold various plots of land in Ebikon/Dierikon.

* Temenos shareholders approved all its board's proposals at the group's annual general meeting on Wednesday, including a dividend of 0.35 Swiss francs per share.

ECONOMY

Swiss KOF indicator due at 0700 GMT

($1 = 0.8981 Swiss Francs)

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