ZURICH, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks were expected to edge lower on Thursday, in line with European markets seen dipping after softer-than-expected Chinese manufacturing data fuelled concerns over the pace of growth in the world’s second-biggest economy.
The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen falling 0.1 percent, according to premarket indications from bank Julius Baer.
The following are some of the main factors expected to affect Swiss stocks on Thursday:
The Swiss government is raising the level of capital banks must hold against their mortgage activity, tightening controls on lenders after the previous requirement failed to dampen Switzerland’s housing market boom.
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Swiss specialty chemicals and life sciences group Lonza posted a fall in full-year sales and profit on Thursday as restructuring measures, unfavourable exchange rates and lower revenues in its pharma and biotech unit weighed.
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UBS, Credit Suisse Group AG, and Royal Bank of Scotland are being investigated by EU antitrust regulators for suspected rigging of interest rates linked to the Swiss franc, a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
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The Wall Street Journal reported that talks between Credit Suisse Group and U.S. authorities on settling allegations the Swiss bank helped Americans evade taxes have intensified, and a settlement of more than $800 million could be struck in the first half of the year, people familiar with the situation said.
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* The Swiss Confederation reduced its stake in telecommunications firm Swisscom by 5.55 percentage points to 51.22 percent in 2013, resulting in an extraordinary gain of 1.247 billion Swiss francs.
* BB Biotech said it would propose to pay out 7 Swiss francs per share to shareholders for 2013.
* Partners Group said it signed an agreement with Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group to jointly develop and distribute global private equity and infrastructure products in the pension market in Japan.
* AFG said its sales inched lower to 1.286 billion Swiss francs in 2013.
* Compagnie Financiere Tradition said consolidated IFRS revenue fell 8.8 percent to 874.4 million Swiss francs at 31 December 2013.
* Logitech reported third-quarter earnings per share of $0.30 and raised its full-year outlook got the fiscal year 2014.
* Intershop Holding AG said it had successfully placed a 125 million Swiss franc bond.