ZURICH, 6 Dec. Swiss stocks were set to edge slightly higher Thursday, underpinned by renewed hopes of a deal in Washington to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff of year-end tax hikes and spending cuts after reassuring comments from President Barack Obama.
The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen rising 0.1 percent to 6,855 points, according to premarket indications from bank Julius Baer.
The following are some of the main factors expected to affect Swiss stocks on Thursday:
* EFG Financial Products said it has appointed Roman Kurmann as Chief Financial Officer for acting CFO Michael Hartweg, who will in future focus on his position as deputy CEO and head of structured solutions.
* Acino said it is appointing Stefan Bier as head group quality and a member of management effective April 1, responsible for the group-wide quality assurance and compliance.
* Schaffner said net profit for the year declined to 3.9 million Swiss francs and proposed to distribute 2 francs per share to shareholders as a tax-free repayment of capital.
* Alpiq is mulling a capital increase of as much as 1 billion Swiss francs ($1.08 billion) in order to avoid a firesale of assets, according to a report in Swiss daily Tages-Anzeiger, citing several undisclosed sources familiar with the matter.
* Ascom said its wireless solutions division won strategic customers, reinforcing its position across different market segments in the public as well as in the private sector.
*Barry Callebaut said shareholders approved all motions proposed by the board, with investors representing 81.02 percent of the share capital in attendance.
* The Swiss unemployment rate rose to a non-seasonally adjusted 3.1 percent in November from 2.9 percent in the previous month, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs said.
* Swiss November CPI at 0815 GMT
($1 = 0.9275 Swiss francs)