Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on August 25

ZURICH Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:30am EDT

ZURICH Aug 25 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks were seen opening slightly higher on Monday, tracking European stocks expected to rise on signals of policy stimulus from the European Central Bank.

The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.3 percent higher at 8,582 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 Holding AG has agreed to buy U.S. biotech company InterMune Inc for $8.3 billion in cash, marking the latest multibillion-dollar deal in a consolidating pharmaceutical sector.

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LONZA

Swiss drugs industry supplier Lonza Group AG is courting the financial backers of biotech firms to help secure a steady stream of projects and offset some of the volatility of outsourced production contracts, a senior executive said.

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COMPANY STATEMENTS

* SGS said it received a $41 million payment from the government of Paraguay for unpaid invoices, settling a long-running dispute.

* Kuoni expects to post a consolidated profit of around 70 million Swiss francs in 2014, the company's chief executive said in an interview with Swiss newspaper, Finanz und Wirtschaft, published on Saturday.

ECONOMY