May 18, 2018 / 4:59 AM / 5 months ago

Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on May 18

ZURICH, May 18 (Reuters) - The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.3 percent lower at 8,964 points on Friday, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer .

Here are some of the main factors that may affect Swiss stocks:

RICHEMONT

Luxury goods group Richemont said on Friday it could target strategic investments and divestments after buoyant jewellery sales made up for still sluggish watch sales, helping sales rise 8 percent in constant currency terms in its fiscal year to March. Net profit rose 1 percent to 1.221 billion euros ($1.44 billion), well below a 1.719 billion forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts, partly due to inventory buybacks of watches of 203 million euros in 2017/18.

DRUGS

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday listed a number of drugmakers, including Novartis, it said could be improperly blocking access to their medicines in order to delay generic competition.

Amgen Inc won U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval on Thursday for the first drug in a new class designed to prevent migraine headaches in adults. Amgen will market the drug, Aimovig, in partnership with Novartis.

UBS

Switzerland’s biggest bank is looking to double its headcount in India to 3,000 people by the end of the year, its CFO told India’s Economic Times, as it moves more of its back-office capabilities in-house.

COMPANY STATEMENTS

* The FDA has accepted Cosmo Pharmaceuticals’ new drug application submission for Rifamycin SV MMX, Cosmo said, adding November 16 has been set as a date for the review’s completion.

* HBM Healthcare reported a 115.9 million franc profit for the 2017/18 financial year and proposed a 20 percent dividend hike to 7 francs.

* Bell Food Group netted 98.9 percent of share capital in Huegli Holding and 99.23 percent of voting rights, according to the provisional results of its public tender offer.

ECONOMY (Reporting by Zurich newsroom)

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