Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on July 21

ZURICH, July 21 Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:20am EDT

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ZURICH, July 21 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks were expected to open a touch higher on Monday, steadier than European equities after the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine increased geopolitical tensions in the region.

The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening up 0.1 percent at 8,522 points, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer.

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

ROCHE

Roche plans to steer clear of the wave of big takeovers sweeping through the healthcare industry and focus instead on small acquisitions and partnerships, the Swiss drugmaker's chief executive said in an interview published on Saturday.

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JULIUS BAER

Julius Baer BAER.VX said on Monday that it will buy the private banking activities of Bank Leumi in Luxembourg and Switzerland, in a deal which will cost up to 70 million Swiss francs ($78.01 million).

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HOLCIM

Cement makers Holcim and Lafarge are in "advanced" talks with European competition regulators over their proposed merger, and have filed formal notifications in five major markets, Holcim Chief Executive Bernard Fontana told the Wall Street Journal.

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COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Conzzeta said it is selling its loss-making automation business ixmation to BBS Automation GmbH for an undisclosed price effective July 1, which will burden earnings by 25 million francs.

* Basilea said it has entered into an agreement with Quintiles for the commercialization ceftobiprole in Europe.

* Energiedienst Holding said first-half net profit was 22.2 million euros.

ECONOMY

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