ZURICH, March 21 Shares in Swiss watchmakers
Swatch Group and Richemont fall on Thursday
after plummeting watch exports to their key growth market,
Greater China, indicate a recovery in that region is not around
Swatch Group falls 2.1 percent to 532 Swiss francs at 1159
GMT and peer Richemont declines 3 percent to 74.15 francs,
underperforming a 0.7 percent weaker European sector index
Exports of timepieces to Hong Kong, the biggest market for
Swiss watches, fell 24.4 percent in February, while sales to
mainland China were down 33.6 percent.
"Further normalisation in exports is necessary to reflect
weakness in underlying demand and elevated levels of
inventories, 'channel stuffing' in Greater China last year,"
Citi analyst Thomas Chauvet says in a note.
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