Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on August 20

ZURICH, August 20 Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:33am EDT

ZURICH, August 20 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks were seen opening flat on Wednesday, underpinned by receding geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and strong housing data from the United States.

The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening virtually unchanged at 8,523 points, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer.

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

SWISSCOM

Telecoms group Swisscom nudged up its guidance for full-year core profit, as a rising number of customers offset falling prices and helped it post better-than-expected profit in the second quarter.

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NOVARTIS

Novartis said it had signed an a deal to exclusively license its experimental drugs for tuberculosis (TB) to the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development.

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COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Nobel Biocare said it has filed a lawsuit in California court against Neodent alleging the U.S. firm infringed on two patents for the Swiss dental maker's NobelActive line of dental implants, and asking for an injunction barring sales of the contested products, payment of damages and attorney fees.

* Ascom said sales fell in the first half of the year to 202.7 million francs, generating group profit of 8.2 million compared to 14.5 million a year earlier. It expects net profit for the fiscal year 2014 to be at around the previous year's level.

* Elma said revenue rose 4.2 percent in the first half to 57.9 million francs helping it swing to a net profit of 0.7 million compared to a loss a year earlier.

* Huegli posted an increase in group net profit to 11.7 million Swiss francs for the first half.

* SHL Telemedicine posted second quarter net income of $0.1 million, compared to a loss of $1.1 million in the prior-year period.

* LifeWatch said higher expenses resulted in a net loss of $4.72 million in the first half of 2014.

* Goldbach reported a first-half net profit of 1.1 million Swiss francs.

ECONOMY