September 4, 2017 / 4:51 AM / a month ago

Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on Sept 4

ZURICH, Sept 4 (Reuters) - The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.5 percent lower at 8,900 points on Monday, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer .

The following are some of the main factors expected to affect Swiss stocks:

NOVARTIS

Chief Executive Joseph Jimenez will retire in 2018, with chief drug developer Vasant Narasimhan taking over as CEO starting in February, the Swiss drugmaker said.

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CLARIANT

The vast majority of Clariant’s shareholders support the Swiss chemical maker’s planned $20 billion merger with American peer Huntsman, Huntsman Chief Executive Peter Huntsman told Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag.

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SWATCH

Chief Executive Nick Hayek said the Belenos Clean Power unit, in which his company holds a controlling stake, plans to start production of electric car batteries next year after suffering delays, Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag reported.

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COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Helvetia said its first-half underlying earnings after tax rose 8 percent to 258 million francs.‍​

* Gurit said it has completed the acquisition of PH Windsolutions, a deal which was announced in April.

* AMS will continue to make acquisitions, Chief Executive Alexander Everke told Swiss newspaper NZZ on Saturday, as the Austrian-based chip maker targets annual sales growth of 40 percent.

* Standard & Poor’s upgraded the outlook for the Baloise Group to ‘positive’ from ‘stable’ after its half-year results and strong capitalisation. The rating is now ‘A’ with a positive outlook.

* HIAG Immobilien said first-half ‍net income was up 12.7 percent at 24.4 million Swiss francs.

* Varia US Properties said ‍total income in the first half was up 31.2 percent at $43.3 million and confirmed its positive outlook for 2017 issued in April.

* Basler Kantonalbank said it is adjusting its pension fund, with the technical interest rate is being reduced from 2.5 to 1.5 percent.

ECONOMY

The Swiss National Bank is due to release sight deposit data at 0800 GMT.

Reporting by Zurich newsroom

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