Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on June 18

ZURICH, June 18 Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:03am EDT

ZURICH, June 18 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks were expected to open slightly higher on Wednesday, mirroring gains on Wall Street, although sentiment is expected to remain subdued ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy outlook later in the day.

The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen inching up 0.1 percent to 8,676 points, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer.

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

NOVARTIS

Swiss drugmaker Novartis said it recent business overhaul should boost profitability and speed up growth as it focuses on businesses with scale and higher margins.

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VP BANK

VP Bank warned on Wednesday that its net profit for the first half of this year will be "significantly lower" than the prior-year period citing declining interest rates.

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COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Luzerner Kantonalbank says Daniel Salzmann will become its new Chief Executive, effective July 1.

* Schnindler says it had agreed a settlement of lawsuits with U.S.-based Otis Elevator Company related to Otis' patents on elevator belts and belted elevator systems.

* Zueblin said Vladislav Osipov, a representative of Lamesa Holding SA, was elected as Chairman at its annual general meeting, while Markus Wesnitzer was re-elected as Board member.

* Autoneum said it opened a new site in South Korea.

* Feintool said it sold IMA Automation Amberg to German/Chinese automotive group Preh for about 24 million Swiss francs.

ECONOMY

* Swiss ZEW for June due at 0900 GMT